Monday, December 21, 2009

Melissa Young, MD: What to do about benefits?

One of the great things about being an employed physician was that I never had to worry about benefits like insurance. I had health insurance, vision and dental coverage, life insurance, and a retirement plan. My staff also had excellent benefits, and I didn’t have to worry about who paid for what.

Now, not only do I have to look for coverage for me, but I also have to consider my employees. And of course, I have to pay for at least part of it.
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I thought four choices were too many when I had to pick health coverage offered by my former employer, but now I have to choose among dozens of options. Blue Cross, Oxford, HealthNet? PPO, HMO? And what about vision and dental?

I have dentists and doctors that I already go to, and I want to pick a plan that they participate in. And my staff has their favorite providers, too. Maybe, I am being too nice. Maybe I should just make my choice, and they’ll have to live with it.

How do you know? How do you choose? And how much of the premium should the employer pay?

I’d love feedback from any reader.

Melissa G. Young, MD, FACE, FACP, is an endocrinologist in private practice, an assistant clinical professor at Robert Wood Johnson, and a working suburban mother of two in Freehold, N.J. She is a regular contributor to Practice Notes.

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