What Are Ancillary Benefits?


What’s up Internet? My name’s Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I’m your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today’s episode, we are going to be doing our final open enrollment video of this month. The reason I think that’s important is that if you are watching this video, but you haven’t watched the previous three just know that you’ll get a lot more out of anything if you watch the prequels. This video is going to be addressing a couple of ancillary benefits, or extra benefits, that I see available for purchase at employers.

The first benefit that I’m going to address is critical care, or medical benefit, insurance that is not health insurance. These ancillary policies are usually an indemnity policy, which means that they pay out if the policy is ever triggered, regardless whether you need the money or not. They usually come associated with a duck.

So, the reason I’m not a huge fan of these policies is that I kinda view them as “dragon-burning-down-your-house” insurance. They are super, super-specific and they are really good for that specific group of people. If you live in Helgen and you have already had a dragon burn down your house once I could totally see why you would want “dragon-burning-down-your-house” insurance, right? But, if you are not one fo those people, who lives in the mythical town of Helgen, then I’m not really sure why you would want this policy because we really don’t have dragons burning down our house in America…yet. Given that, I’m not really a huge fan of critical care policies. They don’t trigger as often as you would want, so for a lot of people they are just extra dollars tacked onto their paycheck expenses.

The second benefit that I’m going to address on this video is legal insurance. Legal insurance I’m a little bit bigger of a fan of. Usually, this is a benefit where you can pay $10 or $20 a month for access to a network of attorneys that will do certain actions for you (included in that fee.) They will do some other actions at a discounted rate.

What I mean by this is, if you get a speeding ticket or you need to get your wills done, those sorts of things are usually covered by this legal insurance. On the flip side, if you get sued in a very complicated lawsuit involving a “dragon-burning-down-your-house”, well suing a dragon is usually not covered.

The reason that I’m a fan of these benefits is typically you can utilize them to your advantage with a little bit of careful planning. Do you need to get your estate planning done or updated? Well, this is a really good purchase for that year because that package of representation usually costs $1,000 or $2,000. So why not have this sort of insurance?

Finally, the last benefit that I’m going to address as an ancillary benefit (though you usually cannot make any changes to it) is the parental leave policy. The reason I thought taking a moment to talk about this would be worthwhile is that the landscape of parental leave is changing drastically. A lot of the modern tech companies are super interested in looking good an providing great leave to parents. And thankfully, that is changing in our communities.

Evaluating this before or after you join the company is important because if you’re going to go through having a child any time soon you want to know what the financial landscape of that looks like. How much time can you spend with the child? So keep in mind that being aware of this policy, even though you may not be able to make any changes to it during open enrollment, is super important.

I hope this video was helpful to you. It was just discussing a couple of the benefits that I see as worth discussing, since they come up pretty often. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Have a wonderful day!

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