Before you're even given an assignment at a new job it's likely that you'll be handed a packet of benefit information. Your human resources director will walk you through the different plan options and explain the biggest differences between types of insurance plans, but you will undoubtedly have lingering questions afterward. No matter how savvy you are the little nuances could mean unsightly surprises for your pocketbook and incompatible plan restrictions for your needs.
You'll be given a phone number to contact your benefits administrator, but there are several helpful resources now that enable you to determine which type of plan is best. The New York Times rounded up several of these online that pertain not just to health insurance, but also support for tax and retirement plan questions. Start clicking through these valuable resources when you
The Times article is a fantastic read for anyone just starting out in the workplace. If you know any new grads, do them a favor by printing out the article and including it in their congratulations card.
- Health insurance: Sort out premiums, deductibles, and co-payments with allaboutthebenefits.com. It will help clear up confusion surrounding health insurance plans.
- Taxes: You'll fill out a W-4 form that tells employers how much tax to withhold from your paychecks. Two lines to look out for are the questions asking whether someone else will claim you as a dependent and if you have student loan payments that you'll be deducting. If you're making student loans, the website paycheckcity.com will walk you through the form and help you properly complete it.
- Retirement: Test the impact of different amounts of retirement savings by using the Salary Paycheck Calculator at paycheckcity.com, under “basic.”