The Easiest $180 I’ve ever made

I’ve been behind on everything — work is crazy, money is crazy (the shopping ban is going fine now, but I’d already overspent so much that I’m going to be in the hole at the end of the month just through buying groceries and gas), jam-making is going great but is time consuming…. It’s all ok, but I’ve been giving myself a break on blogging, obviously. Work ought to die down a little once the major project I’ve been shepherding finishes a week from Monday, but it’s going to keep me really really busy all this week and next weekend. C’est la vie. I love the project, so it’s ok that it’s taking up so much time.

Anyway, this post is actually about how I made $180 in 30 minutes on Friday. Not bad!

I did this by getting a “health screening” (blood draw, blood pressure check, measurements) at the health center on campus. Having done this, I get a $180 discount on my health insurance premium for next year, which will show up as about $5 extra in each individual paycheck. (Actually $7.50, but after taxes….) Not revolutionary, but as we know, every little bit helps!

I paid close attention to the HR packets when I took this job, because at my last job, I didn’t do that, and at the end of the year after I had my financial awakening, I realized that if I’d been focusing, I could’ve made up to $300 for participating in various health-related thingies that would not have occupied much of my time. I was so mad at myself! My current employer’s deal isn’t quite as good, but it was certainly worth the few minutes it took for me to do it.

I know a lot of you are freelancers, but if you’re a regular employee, do you check closely for this kind of thing? Anyone taking financial advantage of it?

26 thoughts on “The Easiest $180 I’ve ever made

  1. Nice! Yeah as a freelancer there are no real incentives of any kind, so I’m kind of jealous! But I think employers want their employees to be healthy because they probably lose a lot o money in sick days being taken, or not being productive because of health reasons. Not that its the same thing, but I basically got paid $85 to watch TV last night…er, babysitting. OK about one hour of actual work, then I watched a couple movies. 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I was a freelancer for a decade, so I’m psyched to finally get some of those mystical “employee benefits.” Also, babysitting for sleeping kids is the BEST. I haven’t had one of those gigs in a while, I miss them.

  2. I get three months gym membership paid through my health insurance, which is pretty sweet. There’s no $ cap as long as it has cardio + weight room so I plan to use it on my local climbing gym which would otherwise cost too much for me to justify.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      That’s so cool! I’d really like to join a climbing gym but there isn’t one near me, in addition to the $$.

  3. Liz says:

    Yes, I made $150 towards my HSA by doing a health screening before Feb 28th. It was awesome and I plan to do it again next year.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It’s so great to save money for so little effort.

  4. Hannah says:

    I earn $500/yr for a physical, three “healthy activities” and filling out a health survey (based on the physical). That’s a frickin sweet deal.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      $500!!! That’s pretty amazing, yup. I guess it’s worth it to them to get the unhealthy people in the door for a talk about their cholestorol.

  5. Our insurance used to offer a reward program for doing things like completing a questionnaire, getting a physical, getting a flu shot, etc. The scaled back that program, but now offer up to $500 back for fitness activities. We can use it for my daughter’s ballet and/or swimming lessons, or a gym membership for me.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      That’s nice, especially if you were going to spend the money anyway on stuff like your daughter’s lessons.

  6. How great you have the opportunity to save on your health care costs! And good for you for taking advantage. We have the opposite situation — we are *required* to get these screenings and answer long questionnaires, but they are just something we have to do to avoid getting kicked off the company plan. No cost savings to be had — boo! 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Ugh! How annoying! I obviously like the incentivizing version much better 🙂

  7. Kirsten says:

    I get a free yearly screening on my insurance plan, but generally don’t take advantage for me. We do it for both girls, of course. I’m still in NASA mode, I think – I got a annual exam to make sure I was OK to handle the stress of console work. And so I never had to think about making my own appointment with my own doctor. It’s been three years – time to snap out of that!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I totally wouldn’t be doing this without the actual cash incentive 🙂 I think for adults, once every few years is just fine — unless there’s something actually wrong. OTOH, you’ll need a primary care person in your new town, so this is probably a good time to be thinking about it.

  8. amanda says:

    Thanks for the reminder! Just booked my screening. My employer is quite generous – $300 off health insurance premiums for next year for completing the health screening.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Ooooh, $300! Lucky you! Glad you booked already 🙂

  9. Niiice. Due to disabilities, my husband and I are on Medicare, so no worries about health premiums. But we’re battling an appeal against him losing his benefits. So if the worst happens, I need to be vigilant about this when we buy him health insurance.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, it’s a good thing to keep an eye out for. But hopefully you won’t have to!

  10. Revanche says:

    Sadly I’ve been working for too many small shops lately to get any of those awesome benefits but I sure would be all over it.

    Seriously the babysitting comments had me checking to see if you’re local and could babysit LB but then I realized you couldn’t during the hours I’d need anyway 😉

    1. thesingledollar says:

      hee hee. I miss babysitting — it’s good money these days, for very low-key work!

  11. Nice work! The easiest money i made was attending a Google Hangout for 15 minutes. I made $30. It was a “dj concert” thingy and they just wanted people to attend.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Whoa, seriously?! I’d have been on board for that for sure!

  12. I never think to look for these things! Though I do hear of them on occasion – from other people who manage to find them. $180 in 30 minutes is definitely something I would go for. How did you find out about it? Is it a generally known type of thing? Or something you have to search for?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      This one was really widely advertised — they actually sent a postcard to my house with the times of screenings listed! Plus I think we got some emails about them. But previously I tended to ignore that stuff, which is why I missed out on the easy $300 from my last job (grrrr) but I’m just paying more attention now, I think.

  13. That is fantastic! I am now a stay-at-home-mom but I am always trying to keep on top of my husband’s health insurance from work to make sure we’re using it to it’s full potential. We are covered for massages so I like to make sure we max this out. 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      oooh, covered for massages — I wish!

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