Just Got Your First Real Job? Then Go to the Dentist!

After I got my first real job (by that I mean full-time and permanent), I was so flippin’ excited to have a steady paycheque and finally be able to afford to move out on my own, the last thing I was thinking about was health benefits.

Sure, I knew they were included in my job, but it wasn’t until about 6 months into it that I actually took a good look at what I was getting. Something to keep in mind is that all benefits packages are different, and usually the bigger the company you work for, the better the benefits.

My BF worked for a big corporation for a couple months a while back and not only did he receive health benefits right away (usually you have to wait at least 3 months), the benefits were amazing! I’m talking full coverage for 60-minute massages, chiropractor sessions, counselling, full dental, you name it! Too bad he hated it there; I was so looking forward to those massages once we became common-law.

Ok, back to me. Now, when I first took a look at my benefits package, I was a bit intimated by everything. I had just moved from the suburbs to the city and quickly realized I couldn’t keep going to my family doctor or dentist anymore as it would take me half a day to bus there and back.

This meant I had to look for a new doctor and dentist, and I knew lots of practices in the city didn’t take on new patients. So, as a back up plan I never officially left my doctor or dentist in the ‘burbs. I then started asking friends and co-workers if they knew of any places taking on new patients, and I’d definitely recommend doing the same, since this is how I found my current doctor, optometrist, and dentist all super close to my place.

If this doesn’t work for you, then thank God for Google. If you live in BC then you can find a doctor through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia ‘s website, an optometrist through the BC Doctors of Optometry‘s website, and a dentist through the BC Dental Association ‘s website.

After finding a new doctor, optometrist, and dentist, and feeling quite proud of myself I might add, I made a list of things I wanted to take full advantage of with my coverage. Basically, I wanted the works. Teeth cleaning and x-rays done. Get my eyes checked after 10 years of no check-ups: Done.

Pap smear and breast exam: unpleasant but done. Realize that I’m not actually that out of shape, but I’ve got exercise-induced asthma and need a puffer: done. I’m also covered up to $20 per massage, but since most massages are at least 60 minutes long and can cost upwards of $100, I haven’t really taken advantage of this benefit yet.

Prescription medication is also covered up under my plan, but only to a certain percentage. For instance, there are a few prescriptions I take to keep my skin clear, and two of them are covered under my benefits, but one I had to pay completely out of pocket.

So, if you’ve just started your first real job, remember to look at your benefits package and go straight to the dentist! You never know, you may hate where you work in a few months, so better get your teeth cleaned before giving in your two weeks’ notice.

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