Making good decisions about your benefits requires a plan. You can optimize the value of your benefits and minimize the impact on your budget. It is often easier to elect the same coverage that you had during the previous plan year, but there are new plans this year that better meet your needs. Follow these tips to make the best benefits decisions for you and your family:
- Assess your health and the health of your family members before making any selections. Plans with higher premiums and lower copays are best for those who will use a lot of health care services.
- Examine how you allocated benefits last year beyond just health care – retirement, dental, flexible spending accounts, etc. Consider omitting unused investments from your benefits this year.
- Attend all company meetings designed to explain new benefit offerings. These venues are great for learning the ins and outs of new plans and changes to existing plans.
- Utilize plan selection and comparison tools. These resources can analyze your claims from the previous year and then determine which plan would be most appropriate in the coming year.
- Verify that your doctor and hospital of choice are part of the network of providers that are covered under your chosen plan. You will pay significantly for their services if they’re not.
- Participate in wellness and disease management programs to not only become healthier but also to receive potential discounts on your health benefits.
- Utilize tax-free benefits such as health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and dependent care spending accounts. These savings vehicles can provide tremendous tax advantages, as contributions are made with before-tax income. Reimbursements from these accounts are also tax-free. They can be used to pay for prescriptions, deductibles and health-related costs that are not covered by your insurance (braces, eyeglasses, etc.). HSAs are also a great way to save for future medical costs.
- Are you saving enough to be comfortable during retirement? If not, change your retirement plan withholdings. Don’t forget to take advantage of your company match in your retirement account. This is free money for the future.
Try to make a list of your benefit priorities to determine which plan will serve you best. Then, let the selection process begin. If you have any questions about your open enrollment, give our benefits team a call. They will help guide you through a plan best suited for you and your family.