The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit’s Security Administration (EBSA) regulates several important health benefits that employer based plans offer. While a majority of companies offer health coverage to their employees, many of them fail to educate them on the practical benefits offered.

There are also a number of laws that protect your right to health benefits when you change jobs or lose coverage. If you are looking for something more out of your employer benefits, here are a few tips that can help:

Exploring Options

1Do you know that as an employee, you have options for health coverage? There are different types of plans available. All you need to is to find out which ones your company offers. Typically, the human resources office can provide information to help you match your needs and preferences with the available plans. The more information you have, the better you will be able to benefit from the coverage.

Go Through Your Plans Summary Plan Description (SPD)

2Your health plan administrator should provide you with a copy of the Summary Plan Description. It mentions all the benefits you are legally entitled to under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) – the federal law that protects your benefits.

Remember to safely store the SPD, Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and all other brochure along with memos from your employer relating to health benefits.

Know How to File an Appeal If Your Health Benefits Claim Is Denied

Make sure that you clearly understand the plan’s procedure to make appeals of the plan’s decisions. Remember to keep an eye out for time limits and stick to them when filing claims. Maintain records and copies of all correspondence. If you feel that something is wrong, or you need more information, get in touch with EBSA for assistance.

Assess Your Coverage as Your Family Status Changes

Marriages, childbirth, death of spouse or aging out of a health plan are life events that may require you to change your health benefits. Your spouse and children may be eligible for special enrollment into other employer health coverage.3

Even if you don’t experience a life changing event, your employer should tell you how you can change your benefits or switch plans. It is also worth identifying what employer health benefits are extended to you and your spouse during retirement.

These are just some of the ways you can understand employer health benefits better to make the most of them.

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