In evaluating the medical benefits IBM provides, here are some things you may want to consider the following:
- Think about your current health care needs and those of your family, and how they might change over the next year. Keep in mind, the choices you make will apply from your effective date of employment through the end of the year, unless you have a qualified status change that permits you to make a change.
- For many people, the availability of certain health care providers doctors, specialists, hospitals is the most important factor in their health care decision. You can locate doctors and other providers that participate in IBM's medical plans through Provider directory. You may also want to contact your doctors to confirm whether they participate in the health plan you are considering.
- Specific provisions and benefits vary by health plan. Based on your anticipated medical care needs, see Comparing medical options to evaluate the option that makes the most sense for you and your family.
- If your spouse or domestic partner has medical coverage with his or her employer, compare that plan to the IBM options to help you decide which plan works best for you. Remember, you'll receive $30 cash back each month if you decline IBM medical coverage.
- Be aware of the total cost of your options, including cost of care (the amounts you pay for medical services, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles) and cost of coverage (your monthly contribution). Depending on how you consume health care services, it may make sense for you to pay less for coverage and more at the point of care or, you may want to spend more for coverage and keep out-of-pocket expenses lower.
- If convenient location and office hours are important in your decision-making, do your research. Does the health plan have doctors near your new work location? Near your child's school? Is your health plan's hospital located within an acceptable distance from your home? Do the participating doctors have early morning, evening or weekend office hours?
- Due to special tax implications for domestic partner coverage, consider the financial impact if you're enrolling a domestic partner. Be aware some HMOs don't offer domestic partner coverage.