A medical assistant is a healthcare worker who generally works in a doctor's office or clinic. They take care of clinical duties around the office like measuring vital signs as well as administrative duties like scheduling appointments.
Medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States and medical assistants often enjoy great job security, a decent salary, and good benefits.
Reviewing employee benefits is one of the most important things you should do before accepting a job offer. This guide will go over common benefits that medical assistants receive, as well as what those benefits usually cover.
There are many different employee benefits that medical assistants can expect. While many employers offer benefits, working in the healthcare industry offers a few unique perks.
Here are common benefits that medical assistants receive:
1) Paid Time Off (PTO)
83% of medical assistants receive paid time off (PTO), according to an American Association of Medical Assistants survey.
Having paid vacation means you can take time off from work without losing money out of your paycheck. Paid vacation is usually limited to one to two weeks per year.
Most employers offer paid time off that increases the longer an employee remains at their place of employment.
It is not uncommon to start a job with one week of paid time off per year. Employees with 10 years of service at the same company may earn as much as three weeks of PTO per year.
2) Dental Insurance
83% of full-time medical assistants also receive dental insurance as part of their standard benefits package.
Dental insurance plans typically cover two dental cleanings per year in addition to one set of X-rays. Some, but not all, dental plans include minor procedures like filings.
Dental insurance does not cover orthodontic care like braces.
3) Vision Insurance
78% of full-time medical assistants receive vision insurance that can help cover the cost of eye exams, glasses, and/or contacts.
Most vision insurance policies cover both doctor visits/eye exams as well as coverage for glasses and/or contacts.
Vision insurance does not typically cover eye-corrective surgery.
4) Major Medical Insurance
74% of full-time medical assistants receive health insurance benefits through their employers.
Major medical insurance coverage varies by employer plan, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all major medical plans must cover the cost of standard preventative healthcare like vaccinations and screening tests.
Most major health insurance plans cover urgent care or emergency visits, surgeries, hospital stays, and some medications.
Health insurance plans typically require copays or do not provide any coverage until a deductible is met. The average family deductible in the United States is $3,868.
5) Disability Insurance
Of full-time medical assistants, 64% receive disability insurance as a part of their benefits package.
Disability insurance does not cover any medical costs but instead covers lost salary due to unexpected disability. Short-term disability will generally cover an employee for two years, while long-term disability may cover an employee for the rest of their life.
Covered conditions include things like new blindness, loss of hearing, and severe injuries. Disabilities do not have to be caused by a workplace event in order to be covered.
6) Sick Leave
58% of medical assistants get a sick leave benefit that is separate from their vacation time. The Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA) requires all employers to allow their employees up to 12 weeks of time off to care for themselves or a family member without losing their job.
While FMLA helps employees take time off without losing their position, it does not require employers to pay their employees during the time they take off. Some employers will continue to pay their medical assistants' salaries while they are on sick leave.
7) Accidental Death and Dismemberment
54% of medical assistants are offered accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance.
While this is similar to life insurance, there are more specific requirements that must be met in order to receive a payout after a death or major injury.
Anything related to health problems like heart attack and stroke is not covered. Accidents like car crashes and choking are covered by AD&D insurance.
8) Basic Hospitalization
A basic hospitalization benefit covers the cost of a long-term hospital stay—typically a month or longer. 41% of medical assistants are offered this benefit.
9) Discount Prescription Medications
Unfortunately, not all prescription medications are covered by major medical insurance. A discount prescription medication benefit can help make uncovered medications more affordable.
Employee discount programs generally cannot be combined with other discount coupons like those found on GoodRx.
40% of medical assistants receive discounts on prescription medication through their employee benefits.
10) AAMA Membership
About 12% of medical assistants get an AAMA Membership that is paid for by their employers. An AAMA Membership includes discounts on continuing education courses, a subscription to CMA magazine, networking opportunities, and an invitation to the annual AAMA conference.
Note that not all medical assistants get the Certified Medical Assistant certification from the AAMA. Other medical assistant certifications include a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant from the National Healthcareer Assocation and the Registered Medical Assistant from the American Medical Technologists.
>> Read More: CMA vs CCMA vs RMA
11) Professional Liability Insurance
24% of medical assistants receive liability insurance. This benefit covers a person who is sued for making an error or omission in their line of work.
Professional liability insurance can be used to cover any type of professional from real estate agents to hairstylists to medical assistants.
Liability insurance is not the same as malpractice insurance. Though medical assistants work in the medical field, do not have the scope of practice to justify malpractice insurance.
12) Healthcare Provider Discounts
While not provided by employers, medical assistants can enjoy benefits offered by businesses to healthcare employees.
Websites like ID.me can verify your status as a medical assistant and help you get discounts on things like clothing, shoes, spa packages, food delivery, travel, and electronics.