by Brian Reilly, Seton Hall University, Preservice NJEA Relations Chair
The first couple of years in a new profession is a whirlwind, and this could not be truer for educators. Education requires a lot of dedication and commitment, but from seeing students’ smiling faces throughout the day to watching them grow into great people who can change the world, there are many rewards to being an educator. However, as NJEA members, you are also rewarded financially for this dedication. NJEA Member Benefits is a program available only to NJEA members. It is one way to thank you for all your dedication and commitment to educating and crafting future leaders.
I encourage early career members to take advantage of NJEA Member Benefits. These early career years in the life an NJEA member are filled with major life events such as buying a car or a house while dealing with student loan debt. This is where Member Benefits come in to provide discounts on a number of services from everyday trips to retail stores to big-ticket items. With the help of Member Benefits, the financial strain caused by these significant life events is lessened because of all the amazing programs that are offered.
For large purchases such as cars or appliances, Buyer’s Edge, Inc. is the place to shop. With its heavily discounted prices and great services, Buyer’s Edge is a great resource for all members. The people at Buyer’s Edge value what educators do for their students, so they try to make the process as easy as possible. They have toll-free numbers available for each program, and they are always trying to help find new ways to save members money. Learn more and find those phone numbers at the NJEA Member Benefits website (see sidebar).
After buying a car, members need insurance, and Member Benefits has options for insurance as well. California Casualty, the only auto-home insurance program endorsed by NEA and sponsored by NJEA, is here to help. California Casualty and its auto and home and insurance programs help provide educators with unbeatable prices and the coverage they need. The combination of Buyer’s Edge, Inc. and California Casualty helps early career members as they navigate those exciting life events.
NJEA Member Benefits also offers a disability insurance plan that is open to all members through Prudential. There are different plan options available to members based on age and the duration of the chosen plan.
With the COVID-19 pandemic placing a higher burden on the mental health of members, Member Benefits has AID-NJEA here to help. AID-NJEA is a 24/7 member helpline available to NJEA members free of charge. You can call it at 866-AID-NJEA (866-243-6532). It is a confidential service staffed with trained active and retired educators offering peer support, with mental health professionals on hand ready to help if needed. No matter what you are struggling with or what you need, AID-NJEA is there for you.
Being a NJEA member means you are also a National Education Association (NEA) member. This enables you to take advantage of all NEA Member Benefits has to offer. For all members, but especially early career members, the NEA Student Debt Navigator, powered by Savi, is a great resource. Savi helps members by conducting a student loan checkup to help find areas of debt forgiveness and savings for educators. NJEA members are able to use this service for free for one full year.
NEA Member Benefits also offers an online discount marketplace powered by Rakuten. Rakuten is an online service that provides discounts on everyday purchases. Some of the many participating locations include Target, DELL, and Kohl’s. As an NEA member, you are entitled to special member-only discounts and savings that are not available to others through Rakuten.
NEA Member Benefits also offers complimentary life insurance to its members. To register, a member simply names their beneficiary at www.neamb.com.
Once the pandemic and the precautions needed to keep us all safe are lifted, Member Benefits will be there to help you get the most out of the opportunities that await you. Discounted tickets to Hershey Park and Morey’s Piers and Water Park might just be for you. Premium Seat USA is also an option for members who want discounted tickets to sporting events, concerts and theater events.
There are always new Member Benefits arising, so be sure to check the NJEA and NEA Member Benefits website and social media pages for updates. Be sure to also check out the NJEA Member Benefits Facebook page for more updates and giveaways in the future.
AID-NJEA is a free, confidential 24-hour telephone helpline for school staff members and their families. You can call 866-AID-NJEA (243-6532) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.