Employers provide a paycheck, but most also offer additional benefits designed to attract and retain talent in the workplace. Whether in the form of stock options, profit sharing or access to an onsite gym, benefits provided by employers can be a major selling point when recruiting new employees.
Although unique benefits like gym access are not all that common, access to health insurance coverage is possibly the most universal benefit offered by employers today. Employers sometimes cover the entire cost of monthly premiums for employees, but in situations where they don’t, you’re likely to at least get a group discount on your individual plan.
Signing Up for Health Insurance Through Your Employer
If your employer offers health insurance as a benefit, you’ll likely be provided with paperwork to fill out during the onboarding process. While filling out this paperwork, check to see if changes can be made later, and if so, what restrictions are in place regarding when and how changes can be made.
When you start a new job, there’s a lot going on and a lot to keep up with. During all of the chaos, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or make a mistake regarding the coverage you want to sign up for. Having the ability to make changes later gives you the ability to correct mistakes or change coverage based on evolving circumstances. Knowing the deadlines to make these changes is the real important issue.
When Does Health Insurance Start at a New Job?
The question of when health insurance benefits go into effect depends on the employer and the insurance provider. In most cases, an employer will impose a time-of-service threshold that a new hire must meet in order to be eligible for benefits.
Part of the reason for this is that setting up and paying for a new employee to enroll in the company’s healthcare policy can be time-consuming and expensive. Employers typically want to make sure a new hire will work out before going through the process of getting that person on a health insurance plan.
Additionally, access to healthcare benefits after a specific length of service serves as an incentive to the employee to stick with the company. Starting a new job can sometimes be tough, and it can be easy to feel like jumping ship early if things are challenging in the beginning. By requiring an employee to work a certain length of time in order to get benefits, this can encourage the employee to work through any challenges they may have pertaining to the new position.
The Insurance Provider May Have a Say
Even if the employer has no objection to insurance coverage starting right away, the provider may have regulations of their own. Some insurance providers require new members of a policy to remain employed with a client employer for a length of time before the addition can be made. This may be the result of the provider’s rules, but it may also be the result of local, state or federal laws that pertain to the employer or the insurance provider.
Talk to Your Human Resources Department
If you’re wondering about the health insurance benefits provided by your workplace, the best place to seek answers is your company’s human resources department. A human resources representative will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with information that is specific to your company’s policies, the insurance provider’s policies and any local, state or federal laws surrounding the issue.