Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

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Anonymous User
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Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:42 pm

This might be a stupid question, which is why I wanted to first ask TLS and not my employers.

I'm working for a Staff Attorney's Office (which I believe is technically a clerkship). I understand that term clerks do not get retirement benefits, but they do get health, dental, and vision insurance. I'm 25 so I've always just used my parents' insurance, and this is the first time I'll be getting my own individual insurance. As such, I'm pretty uninformed about insurance policies in general.

What kind of insurance does a clerkship offer? What are the options? I found this website but it's quite general: http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/BeneFitForLife.aspx

catinthewall
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Re: Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby catinthewall » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:55 pm

I understand your confusion. When I left the military, I was pretty lost when it came to civilian health insurance.

We have the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Plan (fepblue.org). You might want to choose the Standard or Basic plan. I chose Standard, and it's fine. I'm not sure if you'll have to wait for an open-enrollment period (the last one was in November), but you may be eligible to enroll at any time because you will age out of your parents' insurance.

Federal law clerks don't get dental, but it's not too much to spend $90 to see the dentist for a cleaning and a check-up every six months.

I hope this is helpful. PM me if you have any other questions, and I can try to help you find answers.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby bruinfan10 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:09 pm

I'm an AIII clerk and I get subsidized dental, vision, and health (FEDVIP, etc). There were a ton of different options to choose from, gotta read through the materials, look at the coverage, check out the provider locations, etc and then pick one. I personally like the GEHA plans, but needs obviously vary.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:23 pm

I don't know if this helps at all, but this is how I think about it: if you pay lower premiums, you pay more when you actually get health care. Higher premiums mean you pay less at the time of care. You get options like a flat co-pay for Rx and doctor visits, or a deductible (capped per year), which is the amount you have to pay before the insurance company kicks in and starts paying, and is usually based on some percentage of the cost (ex. you have to pay 80% of an ER visit up to $1000/year or the like; you pay 60% of the costs of your Rx up to the amount of your deductible etc, versus paying $25 to see the doctor and $20 for each Rx).

If you're young, healthy, and don't have any chronic health conditions, my take is that you're probably okay taking something with the lowest premiums, as long as you're okay with paying up to your deductible in case of an emergency. If you don't think you could come up with the costs of something catastrophic, then you either hope nothing catastrophic is going to happen or consider paying a higher premium to get the level of coverage that you're comfortable with. People who have chronic health conditions/are covering their families as well as themselves (say little Susie gets allergy shots or has asthma) may be more willing to pay a higher premium than cover all the family members' regular care, or than risk having to pay put of pocket if, say, god forbid, they're all in a car accident. (Or they, too, may prefer to keep the money under their control and only pay if necessary.)

The other thing is to look at which plans are available in your area and whether there are a lot of doctors taking new patients who accept that plan. Not such a big deal if you're moving somewhere new - more of an issue if, say, you're changing providers and want to keep a doctor you see currently. But if you need an allergist and only 3 doctors in the area take that plan and 2 aren't taking new patients, you may want to think about another plan. (But most doctors will take the federal plans.)

catinthewall
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Re: Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby catinthewall » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:54 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:I'm an AIII clerk and I get subsidized dental, vision, and health (FEDVIP, etc). There were a ton of different options to choose from, gotta read through the materials, look at the coverage, check out the provider locations, etc and then pick one. I personally like the GEHA plans, but needs obviously vary.



You get dental? I'm an AIII clerk too, but we don't. Weird.

Quichelorraine
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Re: Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby Quichelorraine » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:06 am


You get dental? I'm an AIII clerk too, but we don't. Weird.


I imagine it depends what plan you're in, but I know that FEPBlue Basic in my area offered some dental...cleanings, I think, and once-yearly X-rays. This was without anything extra.

I was with FepBlue Basic for years and quite liked it. IIRC, the difference between it and "Standard" was that standard had more flexibility going out of plan (which I never did) and was also more family-friendly. If you're just you, Basic is great. Better yet, it doesn't have a lot of the annoying components of a lot of plans. There's very little precert stuff, no need to get a referral to go to a specialist, and so on. For someone who is absolutely allergic to insurance miscellany and was terrified of accidentally incurring huge costs by going to the wrong ENT, it was a godsend.

(FepBlue was also really good about communicating and giving you a paper trail, hitting you with "THIS IS NOT A BILL" statements the instant they got a claim.)

So yeah. In my region, I was a satisfied customer.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:28 am

There are an insane number of plans to choose from. I have a health issue, so I skimmed through each plan summary pdf to make sure my stuff would be covered. Some of the plans include VERY basic dental and vision insurance. Mine covers vision tests plus $200 toward glasses or contacts. I get two dental cleanings a year plus some very light coverage for dental issues (but wont cover anything cosmetic).

After I found all of the plans that worked for me, I made a spreadsheet to figure out the best one for me based on price and coverage.

There are also separate dental and vision plans you can sign up for that I did not. And a health savings account, which I didnt need.

I think my insurance is around $62 per paycheck (or is it month???) (only me covered). It's probably the median price.

You have 60 days from the start of your clerkship to sign up, but then open enrollment period starts after that so you have basically until December or something to decide.

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Re: Clerkships & Benefits/Insurance

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This might be a stupid question, which is why I wanted to first ask TLS and not my employers.

I'm working for a Staff Attorney's Office (which I believe is technically a clerkship). I understand that term clerks do not get retirement benefits, but they do get health, dental, and vision insurance. I'm 25 so I've always just used my parents' insurance, and this is the first time I'll be getting my own individual insurance. As such, I'm pretty uninformed about insurance policies in general.

What kind of insurance does a clerkship offer? What are the options? I found this website but it's quite general: http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/BeneFitForLife.aspx


I had no clue about benefits initially. During the first week of my clerkship, I sat down with the Court's HR person and she explained it all to me. It is not as complicated as it appears and they will help you. Most people I know get FEDVIP plan, which offers dental and vision as well. Combine that with Fed Blue Cross & Blue shield, you pretty much covered for all the basic stuff. All this adds up to like 60-70$ a pay check. You can also opt in for life insurance for few more dollars if you want. As you mentioned, there is not retirement plan I believe. So other than that, you are good to go and I don't think this is a stupid question at all. You can talk to your HR person when selecting. Infact I got the sense that they enjoyed walking me through it as it made them feel useful (we all like to be useful). Also, during your clerkship you will be only dealing with your judge and co-clerks, so even if your HR person was to think it is a stupid question it has no impact on you whatsoever lol So don't stress over it :)




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