What to Do When Your Employee Benefits Stink

How to Handle a Job Offer That Doesn't Meet Your Benefit Expectations

Employee Benefits

After months of looking for work, receiving a new job offer can be an exciting time. A nice starting salary, a brand new corner office, and a chance to grow in your career are on the horizon. But, what’s this…the employee benefits package is less than stellar? In fact, they outright stink. All your enthusiasm has gone out the door. Now what?

Compare the Group Employee Benefits to the State Marketplace Benefits

Your first step is to do a search on your state’s benefit marketplace to see what plans are offered and if they are better than what your potential new employer has to offer.

Select at least 3 tier of medical plans and have this information ready. If you need other benefits, like dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, have these quotes available to go over. Your next step is to find out what other options the company has and if you need to purchase your own insurance how the company will reimburse you.

Review the Employee Benefits Package With the Hiring Manager

Always err on the side of error. It’s possible that the employee benefits package you are reading may not be all the information, in fact, some could be missing or inaccurate. Make the time to call the hiring manager and ask if you can review the benefits package. You may be directed to talk with the main human resource or benefits administrator for the company, which can be a good thing. Talk about what you are reading and what hesitation you have with accepting the job offer because of the benefits.

Negotiate a Better Employee Benefits Package or Additional Perks

It’s possible at this early stage in the game that the company may be willing to work with you on what you require in terms of employee benefits. Provide an idea of what you need for your medical coverage, what you are paying now for premiums (if you have current employer group benefits), and what you expect to incur in wellness expenses for the coming year.

If you are relatively healthy, you may be able to work out an arrangement for a high deductible health care plan and an associated health savings plan with some company-matched dollars. If you need special medical care for an existing condition, then a lower deductible plan with an HSA or a defined contribution from the company can make better sense. Think about other perks too, such as getting additional paid time off, or a company-paid vacation once a year. 

Ask the Company to Support Your Wellness Goals

Most companies want to employ people who are proactive about their health and well-being, therefore it’s time to speak up and ask what the company does to support your goals. You may be able to obtain a low-cost fitness membership, access additional wellness services to quit smoking or lose weight, or get some kind of incentive for reaching your health goals. Find out if the company offers financial support for nutritional counseling, personal training, walking weight loss programs, massage therapy, and other types of support you may require. The company may be able to set aside some funds specifically for these needs.

Inquire About Voluntary Benefit Options

The company may have access to a variety of voluntary benefits that can close any gaps between the standard health care package and what you need.

For example, you may be able to purchase additional products like dental and vision care, supplemental life insurance, and hospital indemnity plans that give you cash back for inpatient care. The insurance company may also provide incentives for preventative care, such as a cashback reward for having an annual physical or getting a recommended health screening done once a year. Money can be deposited to your health savings account.

At the very least, before accepting a job offer with a company that has less than perfect employee benefits, negotiate for a slightly higher salary to offset the additional costs you may incur each year.