It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Legal, Pet Insurance and Lots of Little Perks

This is the final post of a series of posts on choosing benefits.  Today I will look at the ins and outs of the offered Legal Plan, Pet Insurance, Discount Programs and the rest for tomorrow.

In addition to all of the other great benefits, Large Conglomerate offers an array of add-on benefits.

Hyatt Legal Plan – offers unlimited telephone advice and consultation with a participating Plan attorney for covered services including:

  • Family law including premarital agreements
  • Wills and estate planning
  • Traffic and criminal matters
  • Real estate including sale, purchase or refinance of primary residence, and eviction and  tenant problems
  • Identity theft defense
  • Tax audits
  • Immigration assistance
  • Security deposit assistance for tenants
  • Boundary or title disputes
  • Property tax assessment
  • Zoning applications
  • Protection from domestic violence

You get all of that for $15.75 per month, or $189 per year, and it covers the employee and eligible dependents.

We have two lawyers in the family, so I’ll be skipping this.  That said, if you think you’ll need an attorney in 2009 for any of the above items then it would be worth finding out about.  Me?  I’d rather use that money towards a Personal Liability Umbrella.

So, this is a no.

Pet Insurance – through Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), they direct bill you for coverage.  We’re offered a 5% discount, and you have to click on the details button to find out that the discount applies to the premium of the base policy only, it does not apply to the Lost/Found Registration or optional coverage such as the Vaccination & Routine Care Coverage or the VPI Cancer Rider. Can not be combined with other discounts.

Woo. Hoo.

Birds, dogs, cats and other animals are covered.  Features include:

  • Choice of three different plans
  • Discounts for 2 or more pets enrolled
  • Routine care is an optional coverage
  • Helps with lab fees, treatments, prescription, surgery or more
  • Use any licensed veterinarian

I did an online quote and for my six-year-old mixed breed it ranged from $16.77 per month for their basic plan with no increased wellness coverage to a whopping $52.40 per month for their premier plan with increased wellness coverage.

Doing the math, that’s between $201.24 and $628.80 per year.  This dog, luckily, has not cost us a cent in veterinary bills for the past four years (We have two friends that are veterinarians, so get advice on the phone on the few occasions needed).  So even if we got a hige bill this year unless they cover $800 of it we’re ahead.

All that said, my beloved Jonah cost me over $200 per month with his Cushing’s Disease, thyroid problems and epilepsy.  Most plans won’t cover those things anyway.

Also a no.

Employee Assistance Program – supplies confidential, professional assistance with a wide range of work/life issues.  Information, counseling and referrals are provided for a wide range of needs.  I’m sure someone uses this service, and I’m glad it’s there for them.

Free, but no thank you.

Back-Up Care Advantage Program – Provides safe, affordable and reliable back-up child and adult/elder care services to employees and their families.     It’s a great benefit because it offers people an alternative when schools are closed, regular providers are on vacation or illness.  You can use home or center-based care at a very discounted rate.

  • Center-based care is $15 per child per day, $25 maximum for two or more children
  • In-home care is $4 per hour during weekdays  and $6 per hour evenings and weekends.
  • Medical care is $50 per hour
  • You must register.  Reservations are required, but they probnably have some last-minute availability for illnesses.  You can call 24/7.

I had to scramble earlier this year when I had to take my Dad for surgery.  I’m not sure how comfortable I am with strangers taking care of Son (he’s never had a babysitter), but I may check out the nearest center just in case something like this pops up again.

Health Advocate –  Helps employees and their faamilies navigate the health care system – an invaluable help when a serious illness strikes.  And it’s available to all active employees, spouses, parents and parents-in-law regardless of whether they are enrolled in one of Large Conglomerate’s health plans!

  • Clinical Support Services – care coordination among physicians and medical institutions and many other sevices
  • Administrative Supprt Services – including claims and billing assistance, fee negotiation with providers for treatment, and, when necessary, appeals assistance and information about alternative resources or coverage options.
  • Healthcare Coaching – helps particpiants manage their healthcare and treatment
  • Information and Service Support – helps members locate and arrange a wide array of services, access to experts for consltations and second  opinions, locate and arrange for special needs including transportation, and more.
  • Privacy – When a member takes advantafge of this service their provacy and health information is protected “to the fullest extent provided by applicable law”.

This is a terrific program I hope never to have to take advantage of.

Not now, but maybe someday.

Wellnessworx – a confidential and voluntary collection of tools, resources and personalized support to try to help you get/stay healthy.  It offers:

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) – a report card for your health.  You work on your own or with a Health Coach to formulate an action plan to target specific areas for improvement.

Healthways Health Coaching Program – using your HRA and looking at your filed health claims (Big Brother!), they may  contact us to work with highly trained coaches to support you in improving your health.

Healthways Condition Management Program – Helps those with common medical issues manage their conditions and improve their  health.

These guys send stuff to Husband all the time, which he valiantly ignores.  It’s all a little too Orwellian for me.

No thank you.

Nationwide Discounts – Large Conglomerate offers discounts to employees and their  families for a wide range of products and services.  We’re currently saving 10% on our cell phones, and I used their service to get a great deal on Husband’s MAC last year.  I check the website frequently for any new additions that we can take advantage of.  Also, through Aetna Wellness Products and Cigna Healthy Awards Discount Programs we can get discounts through our medical and dental providers for weight loss programs, gyms,  smoking cessation, alternative health care, vision, and hearing services.

Yes, thanks!

So, ladies and gentlemen, we’re done.  Now all that’s left is for me to go to the website and tell them my choices.  Since ther website is down I’ll have to wait, so it’s  a good  thing they extended the deadline.

I know this was boring as heck, but doing this forced me to actually read everything, something I haven’t done.  Ever.  I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same.

Read the rest of the series!

It’s Benefits Enrollment Time, Series Overview

It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Medical Insurance Part 1 – Evaluating What You’ve Got

It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Medical Insurance Part 2 – The Plans and What They Really Cost

It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Dental Insurance and Why The Math is So Important

It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Life Insurance a Bargain For Us

It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Seeing the Vision Plan Clearly. Finally.

It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Disability and Long Term Care Insurance are Good to Have


3 Responses to “It’s Benefit Enrollment Time – Legal, Pet Insurance and Lots of Little Perks”

  1. Tari Says:

    Thanks so much for doing this. I never really thought about how to compare costs to see which plan was the better deal. As DH is currently active military and I am staying home with our daughter, we don’t have too many choices. But I do feel inspired to hunt up all the info and see if there’s something we’re entitled to that I’ve missed.

  2. AKC pet insurance Says:

    Have you been happy with the Aetna plan? My wife and I are considering their dental coverage, and I’m trying to find folks that have had experience with them.

  3. BeThisWay Says:

    AKC – We don’t use Aetna dental, we use Cigna. I can’t say I’ve been happy or unhappy. In my experience dental insurance isjust okay. But for about the cost of the 2 cleanings I’d get per year my whole family can get them, and we get other services discounted. So, yeah, Cigna has been as good as any dental insurance I’ve had…

    Aetna is pretty good as far as health insurance, and has a decent reputation from what I can tell. I say compare plans.

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