I considered blowing off the seminar we had yesterday to go over our healthcare benefits at work, but after sitting through it I’m glad I didn’t!

First of all, I discovered that I was being gypped at the doctor’s office!! Actually, I kind of suspect this is a new policy (because it doesn’t show up on my insurance card) but apparently we have $0 “Well Visits”, which pretty much covers any annual check up or preventive screenings. I’d been paying $25 for each visit! We still have $25 Office visit copays, just not for annual check-ups.

Secondly, I discovered that our policy is going up $1 each week. Sneaky bastards tried to sneak that by us! I have a pretty good memory though and realized it’d changed.

I also found out why my BC prescription is so much cheaper than it was on our previous plan…in addition to the discounts we get for mail-order prescriptions, they have an offer that when you pay for two months the third is free!! Hooray for that! I’m paying half as much now than I did in previous years, summing up to $200 in savings a year.

Thirdly, my dental plan has been eliminated!! I was previously on the basic plan, but apparently everyone wants a plan that covers orthodontics (and higher limits, I guess?) and not enough people enrolled in the other one. So there goes an extra $1 per week. I guess this means I should really get my money’s worth….and schedule that appointment I’ve been putting off for a few months!! We get 2 free cleanings a year, so I better get on it.

One thing I’ve always heard people talking about is the Flex Spending. I’ve wanted to enroll, but I’ve never had a chance to really think about what my projected expenses will be for the next year. I figure I might as well sign up since I have that prescription, and save a few bucks in the process. So for next year I figure I’ll have BC pills ($50/3 months, 4 times a year = $200 in a year), I also have to go to the doctors for my last gardasil vaccine in January ($25 copay), and another $25 for extras?? I can use the card for contact lens solutions, over the counter medications, so I figure I can put those $25 to use. That would add up to $250 for the year. Should I include anything else? My fear is putting money in, and then losing it….on the other hand, something can come up and I’ll wish I had put more money in. For those who are using their Flex Spending, what else do you take into account?

Finally, they reminded us of the Employee Assistance Program. I knew we had it, but I think I’ll take a closer look into it. I think they offer free counseling and financial advice among many other things….it couldn’t hurt, right?

I always find it amusing that no matter how well informed I think I am, there’s always something new for me to learn. Hey, even if that meeting saved me $25-$50 for the year….that’s a nice bit of money right there!!

So, starting in January I’ll be getting $2 extra taken out of each paycheck, plus whatever I decide to use for the Flex Spending. That means I’ll need to do some budget adjusting!! It shouldn’t be major, but I have to remember to do it when the time comes.