My Plan or Yours? How to Balance Benefits as a Married Couple
Employer sponsored benefits can be a cost saving opportunity for most married couples, but choosing the right benefit options can be complicated. You might have different healthcare needs, or one of you may work freelance — so it may not be as simple as picking the cheapest option.
Here’s how you can make sure you and your spouse have the right benefits coverage, while boosting your household earning power.
Review Your Benefit Options
Check with your employer to see what benefits are available to you and your dependents, and at what cost. Then, talk about your healthcare and other benefit needs in detail:
- Do you take medication?
- Are dental, vision and other voluntary coverage options included in your benefits plans?
- What type of coverage matters most to you both right now? If you’re preparing to start a family, does your coverage include any childcare benefits, disability insurance or life insurance?
- What are your out-of-pocket costs for each plan, for monthly premiums, copays and deductibles?
- Are there any additional fees or surcharges if your employee benefits do extend to your partner?
Do You or Your Partner Work Freelance?
If you or your partner has a nontraditional career, or works freelance, you should review coverage options set up by the federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace. Depending on where you live, there may also be a state-based marketplace. Their coverage options may be more competitive. There’s also a tax savings to consider when paying for your own health insurance as a freelancer.
Disability and Life Insurance are Important
Don’t underestimate the importance of disability and life insurance. If you or your loved ones depend on your income, you need to protect it. A disability insurance policy could also help supplement your spouse’s income after a baby is born. This type of coverage can help you and your spouse build a secure future together.
As you’re reviewing your benefit options with your spouse, be open and honest about what you both really need, and take the time to compare benefit costs so you can save money while staying protected.