Cover image for Maximize your benefits : a guide for all employees
Maximize your benefits : a guide for all employees
Downing, Neil.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, IL : Dearborn, [2000]

Physical Description:
xii, 276 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD4928.N62 U6277 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Helps general readers understand and evaluate the advantages of all types of employee benefits packages and related tax laws and regulations. Shows how to incorporate employee benefits into financial decisions, calculate the best option when multiple health plans are offered, and determine when 401

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Part 1 Health Insurance
1. Health Insurance Todayp. 3
Who Has Coverage?p. 3
How Health Insurance Is Evolvingp. 6
Traditional Plansp. 8
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)p. 12
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)p. 15
Point-of-Service (POS) Plansp. 16
The Growth of Self-Funded Plansp. 18
Taking Advantage of Your Health Care Planp. 20
For More Information...p. 22
2. Choosing a Plan Based on Costp. 23
Employees' Share of Premiumsp. 23
Comparing Plans Point by Pointp. 27
Understanding How Your Plan Worksp. 33
For More Information...p. 36
3. Choosing a Plan Based on Qualityp. 37
Another Languagep. 37
Comparing the Quality of Various Plansp. 38
How to Learn How Your Plan Ratesp. 43
Problems with Managed Carep. 45
Your Right to Appealp. 49
Checking an Insurer's Financial Healthp. 50
Where Federal and State Laws Come Inp. 51
Other Considerations That May Influence Your Choicep. 53
A Final Pointp. 54
For More Information...p. 54
4. Continuing Your Coveragep. 57
Your Rights under Federal Lawp. 57
How COBRA Applies to Youp. 59
Limits on COBRAp. 61
Costs of COBRA Coveragep. 62
Length of COBRA Coveragep. 63
Your Responsibilitiesp. 65
Other Provisions of COBRAp. 67
The Family and Medical Leave Actp. 68
Preexisting Conditionsp. 69
The Health Expenses Tax Deductionp. 75
Other Sources of Coveragep. 76
For More Information...p. 77
5. Cafeteria Plans and Other Flexible Benefitsp. 78
How Cafeteria Plans Workp. 78
Tax Benefits of Cafeteria Plansp. 79
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Similar Accountsp. 81
Deciding Whether Flexible Benefits Are for Youp. 85
Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)p. 86
For More Information...p. 92
Part 2 Retirement Plans
6. Traditional Pensionsp. 95
Why Defined Benefit Plans Are Vitalp. 95
Insurance for Pension Plansp. 96
Peace of Mind: One Family's Storyp. 97
How Defined Benefits Plans Workp. 98
Figuring Your Benefitsp. 100
Getting Your Moneyp. 101
The Decline in Popularity of Traditional Pensionsp. 102
Employers Are Switching to Other Plansp. 105
Controversy over Cash Balance Plansp. 108
For More Information...p. 111
7. 401(k) Plansp. 113
What 401(k) Plans Arep. 113
Getting a Piece of the Actionp. 115
Employer Matching Contributionsp. 117
Tax Benefitsp. 119
Portabilityp. 121
Other Key Points about 401(k)sp. 121
How to Invest Your 401(k) Dollarsp. 122
Drawbacks of 401(k) Plansp. 127
For More Information...p. 129
8. 401(k) Loans and Hardship Withdrawalsp. 131
Vestingp. 131
How 401(k) Loans Workp. 134
What 401(k) Loans Can Cost Youp. 136
Tax Consequences of Borrowingp. 140
If You Lose Your Job Before You Pay Off Your 401(k) Loanp. 141
How Hardship Withdrawals Workp. 143
Tax Impact of Withdrawalsp. 146
For More Information...p. 147
9. 401(k) Plans versus Roth IRAsp. 148
Advantages of 401(k) Plansp. 148
Disadvantages of 401(k) Plansp. 149
Roth IRAsp. 150
Comparing 401(k)s with Roth IRAsp. 153
Investing in Individual Stocksp. 155
Investing in Mutual Fundsp. 159
Variable Annuitiesp. 161
Look at All the Optionsp. 162
For More Information...p. 163
10. 403(b), 457, SIMPLE, SEP, and Other Plansp. 165
403(b) Plansp. 165
Section 457 Plansp. 167
A SIMPLE Solutionp. 169
SEPs and SAR-SEPsp. 176
Keogh Plansp. 178
Other Retirement Plansp. 180
For More Information...p. 181
11. Getting Your Retirement Plan Moneyp. 183
Limits on Accessp. 183
Leaving Your Jobp. 185
Cashing Outp. 186
IRA Rolloversp. 189
Plan Rolloversp. 191
Leaving It in Your Retirement Planp. 194
When You Must Withdrawp. 194
For More Information...p. 197
12. Finding a Lost Pensionp. 198
How Pensions Get Lostp. 198
Searching for a Lost Retirement Benefitp. 199
Using Government Agenciesp. 202
Avoiding Future Problemsp. 205
For More Information...p. 205
Part 3 Other Benefits
13. Group Life Insurancep. 209
How Group Life Insurance Evolvedp. 209
How Group Policies Workp. 210
Tax Troublesp. 213
A Change in IRS Rulesp. 214
Determining Your Imputed Income from Employer-Paid Premiumsp. 216
Don't Ignore Group Term Benefitsp. 218
Don't Rely Only on Group Coveragep. 220
Shopping for an Individual Policyp. 221
The Death Taxp. 222
For More Information...p. 223
14. Stock Options and Other Benefitsp. 224
How Workers Become Millionairesp. 224
Disadvantages of Optionsp. 225
How Employee Stock Options Workp. 225
Tax Treatment of Stock Optionsp. 227
Dealing with the Alternative Minimum Taxp. 229
Other Employee Stock-Purchase Plansp. 230
Employee Education Assistancep. 231
Childcare Assistancep. 231
Dental, Disability, and Long-Term Care Insurancep. 232
Benefits Sold at Your Workplacep. 233
U.S. Savings Bondsp. 234
For More Information...p. 236
15. How Benefits Fit into Your Family Budgetp. 238
Getting Your Household Budget in Orderp. 238
Creating a Cash-Flow Statementp. 239
Creating a Household Balance Sheetp. 241
Figuring Your Net Worthp. 242
How to Cut Spending and Boost Savingsp. 244
Your Investment Picturep. 249
Insuring against Risksp. 249
Developing a Financial Planp. 250
Building Your Nest Eggp. 251
Social Security Benefitsp. 252
Calculating Your Retirement Income Needsp. 253
For More Information...p. 255
Appendix A State Insurance Regulatorsp. 257
Appendix B Top-Rated Health Insurance Plansp. 262
Appendix C Pension and Benefits Agenciesp. 264
Bibliographyp. 267
Indexp. 269