So, you're starting a new job. Before you sign up for the least-expensive benefits, take a look at these tips from Mellody Hobson, "GMA's" personal finance contributor, to find the right plans for you.
Congratulations on landing your new job. This is a really exciting time, but before you move into that corner office you have a few less glamorous to-dos to check off.
On the top of the list is determining how you will continue to receive health benefits in case there's a gap in employment, or in coverage between your former and new job. In either case, you should consider buying insurance, since illness won't care wither you're covered or not. The easiest way to get insurance is to extend your health benefits through your current or former employer through Cobra. With Cobra you get the same insurance, but you will have to pay your employer's portion too, so it is a lot more expensive. Or you may want to buy high-deductible insurance from a third party insurer. It costs a fraction of a Cobra plan, but may entitle you to fewer benefits.
When you start your new job, you will probably be asked to choose health coverage and 401(k) options. With health care benefits, the most important thing to remember is that the cheapest may not be the best choice for you. Make sure you understand exactly what you will need and how it is covered under a particular plan before choosing it. This could save you hundreds of dollars over the year. With 401(k) options, now is a great time to review your investment allocations and contribution amounts. Also, don't forget to roll over your old 401(k).
Finally, if you were out of work you can deduct your job hunting expenses such as employment agency fees, resume services and travel expenses from your income taxes under certain circumstances. Remember to save your receipts. To find out if you are eligible, check the IRS website. It's important to note, though, that you must be looking for a job in the same field to qualify, and you cannot be looking for your first job -- so no career-changers and no recent graduates.