Look at insurance, benefits when making jobs choices
As the economy improves, many Americans are voluntarily changing jobs, often motivated by a desire to improve their financial situation. The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance encourages Virginians to consider all of the financial implications of a job change – including insurance benefits – before making the move.
“Salary is not the only factor to consider when evaluating a new job opportunity,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham. “Insurance benefits are among the other important financial considerations.”
A recent survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) revealed that new hires who focus on salary alone may actually find themselves in worse financial shape after a move. According to that study, 40 percent of voluntary job switchers cited “improve my financial situation” as a key influence on their decision to quit. The survey also revealed that while 73 percent of job switchers spent some or significant time thinking about salary, only 41 percent spent as much time considering insurance benefits, and less than 30 percent thought as much about out-of-pocket costs or insurance coverage effective dates before changing jobs.
Some NAIC survey respondents indicated that ignoring insurance benefits when considering a new job was costly. Nearly 25 percent of job switchers surveyed said after accepting a new job that insurance-related changes either “slightly or greatly worsened” their overall financial situation.
To help avoid surprises, the Bureau of Insurance encourages Virginians to visit the NAIC’s Get Ready resources for changing jobs, available atInsureUOnline.org. The resource kit includes tips and tools, challenging questions to ask yourself, and a Take Action Now checklist of things to do before deciding whether to take a new job.
Questions to consider include:
- Beyond salary, what are some other financial implications of making a job change?
- What options do I have to cover medical expenses while I am between jobs
- If something catastrophic happens to me between jobs, is my family protected?
- Before accepting a new job, do the following:
- Compare your current health plan with the plans offered by the new employer to ensure the available mix of deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance will cost-effectively meet your needs. Ask the new employer about any waiting periods before health insurance coverage takes effect.
- See if your current group life insurance plan has a conversion privilege. If so, you may have up to 31 days after leaving your current job to apply for coverage.
- If you have group disability coverage, find out if you can convert coverage into a portable individual disability plan that stays with you from job to job.
- If your job change includes a move, check your homeowners insurance policy to make sure your personal possessions are covered in-transit. If not, consider a floater policy.
For additional information and assistance on a variety of insurance-related topics, call the Bureau of Insurance toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit its website at www.scc.virginia.gov/boi. For a summary of the job change survey commissioned by NAIC, visit http://newsroom.naic.org.