Benefiting from your benefits!

My laundry list of general wants that would make my life better is extensive, as is most people’s. An extra hour of sleep every morning, perfect teeth, perfect vision, time at the spa, fewer (or no!) migraines, and I could go on ad nauseum – you would probably recognize and identify with a number of items on that list.

While some of these seem like the proverbial pie in the sky items, they are closer to achievable than one would think at first glance. Why?

Benefits, my dear Watson.

A great many jobs come with an extended benefits package which covers things like vision care, dental, medication, and paramedical services (massage, chiropractics, etc). It never ceases to boggle my mind how many people don’t read through their benefits packages. Why would you not take advantage of your employer paying for some (or in some cases, all) of a massage or chiropractic treatment? Think of the quality of life increase that you could have! Most providers that have a vision care coverage component will allow that to be put towards laser eye surgery…and the costs of that have come down substantially over the years as well.

If your spouse has coverage, you should check whether or not you can put the two together – it’s known as ‘umbrella’ coverage in some circles. What that means is that I have $800 every two years for optical coverage. My husband has $500 every two years, which means that if I wanted to get laser eye surgery, I would have $1300 to put towards it, which is huge.

We also have excellent massage coverage, which covers all of my massages up to the first $1500. And I can go anywhere, as long as it’s a registered massage therapist. The immediate leap that this brought to my brain was: Wait! Spas have RMTs! I can go to the fanciest spa in town and use their facilities and snack and be all posh! And someone else will reimburse me! That’s BRILLIANT! And that, boys and girls, is exactly what I do.

Sometimes, spas will have bonuses when you buy a gift card of a certain denomination, usually at Christmas. So you buy the gift card, get the bonus, use the gift card to pay for the massage, get reimbursed via extended benefits, and voila! You get to keep the gift, and are not out of pocket – everyone wins.

What work benefits do you have that you appreciate? What do you wish that your employer offered as a benefit?


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