Employee Benefits

8 Insurance Questions to Ask Yourself at Any Life Stage

2 min read
Nov 10, 2023

Whether you’re starting a new job, getting married and considering taking your spouse’s insurance, or just reassessing your coverage, you’ll likely have questions about your coverage needs and options.

We’ve put together some common insurance questions to help you choose the coverage that’s best for you during open enrollment, or if you’ve experienced a qualifying life event that makes you eligible, during a special enrollment period.

1. How do I choose the right kind of health insurance?

Your first step? Learn what types of health insurance your workplace offers. From there, consider what you and your family need. Check if the doctors and specialists you currently see are in-network or out-of-network. Then, consider each plan’s premiums, copays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses. By examining each of these aspects, you can determine which plan best fits your needs.

2. Do I have any life insurance? Do I need more?

Life insurance may not feel like a priority when you’re young, but having this benefit can help protect your loved ones if the unexpected happens. Life insurance can help your family cover funeral expenses, daily costs — such as rent, a mortgage, car payments, student loans, or credit card debt — and long-term needs too.

Make sure you consider all of your expenses to help determine how much life insurance you need. Many employers offer life insurance coverage as a benefit — often 1x your salary. But a one-time payment that’s equivalent to only one year’s worth of your salary may not be enough money to help your loved ones feel financially secure when you’re gone. That’s why it’s a good idea to review your life insurance coverage needs and options annually during open enrollment.

3. Can I benefit from disability insurance?

Think of disability insurance as insurance for your paycheck in case of an illness or injury. The amount of coverage you need depends on your individual circumstances, i.e. how much money you’ll need to cover your regular monthly bills. Contrary to what many people may think, disability insurance isn’t just for people who work at high-risk jobs. It’s also for pregnancy, mental health needs, and injuries that occur outside of the workplace that prevent you from doing your job.

4. What can vision or dental insurance cover?

Both dental insurance and vision insurance can help cover the costs of routine eye exams, dental cleanings, and other treatments and services. Plus, dental insurance can help pay for oral surgeries, braces, and more. Meanwhile, vision insurance helps cover glasses, contacts, and some eye surgeries to help care for your eyes.

5. What is supplemental health insurance?

Accident, cancer, critical illness, and hospital indemnity insurance can help safeguard your finances with lump-sum payments you can use however you see fit, from covering out-of-pocket medical costs, such as copays, to non-medical expenses, like transportation or grocery delivery.

6. Do I need pet insurance?

Like you and your human family members, pets can benefit from insurance. Pet insurance is designed to protect your pets by helping cover expenses for everything from injuries and illnesses to prescriptions and routine care. Veterinary bills can add up quickly, especially if your cat or dog needs an emergency vet or develops a chronic illness that needs consistent medication and treatment. Pet insurance can help keep those costs manageable.

7. What is legal insurance?

Legal insurance provides access to a network of attorneys for a monthly fee. These attorneys help support you through legal matters like estate planning, adopting a child, reviewing a contract, or dealing with a traffic ticket, for a monthly cost. 

8. Do I need an HSA or FSA?

If you know you’ll be spending a lot of money out of pocket on healthcare, then a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) may offer valuable benefits.

HSAs and FSAs allow you to set aside pre-tax money for medical expenses. You can then use the funds to pay traditional medical expenses, like your deductible, coinsurance, copays, or specialist bills for you or your dependents. You can also use the money for other approved costs, such as over-the-counter (OTC) medications, therapy, and even sunscreen or holistic health treatments.

And if you have dependents, a dependent-care FSA lets you contribute funds used to pay for things like daycare.

Re-evaluate these insurance questions during open enrollment

Every year, open enrollment provides the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate these insurance questions and see if you need any updated coverage to better fit your current life stage. Always ask your benefits administrator for resources and guidance if you’re curious about the options available to you, and read up on benefits topics to stay informed.

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This article is intended to provide general information about insurance. It does not describe any MetLife product or feature.