Make the Most of Open Enrollment
Open Enrollment - the time during which employers allow employees to choose their health care plan for the coming year - comes just once every 12 months. It is important to make the...
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Make the Most of Open Enrollment
Open Enrollment - the time during which employers allow employees to choose their health care plan for the coming year - comes just once every 12 months. It is important to make the most of this opportunity. The choices you make now will impact you and your family for the next year.
First and foremost, watch for your Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBCs) and the Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) from your employers. Some companies share these documents online while others mail them to employees' homes. It's good to know how you can access this information during open enrollment and throughout the year, in case you want to review it again when you are in need of a particular medical service.
Take the time during open enrollment to truly read through your plan materials, including the SBCs and SPDs, to make yourself familiar with each of your plan options. Reading each of these materials will give you the detailed plan descriptions you need to decide on the best plan for you and your family in the coming year.
A big consideration will be out-of-pocket cost for you. Many employers provide cost calculators to help project your total cost for the coming plan year. The total cost includes the premium you pay as well as your share of the deductible and coinsurance. Take the time during open enrollment to think through your potential medical needs and calculate your anticipated expenses before selecting a plan. It may save you hundreds in the long run.
If your employer offers you the option of a healthcare account, whether it is a flexible spending account (FSA), a health reimbursement account (HRA) or a health savings account (HSA), take a good look at it. These accounts can help you save money on qualified medical expenses that aren't covered by your health care plan, such as deductibles and coinsurance
When making your choices, be sure to take into consideration the possibility of unexpected events, including job loss, divorce, or other life-changing events. Know what the benefits plan costs might be if you need to pay for it under COBRA.
More employers than ever before are offering incentives to employees and their family members for health improvement. These incentives may come in the form of medical premium discounts, access to certain low deductible plans or even incentives and prizes. Take the time to learn everything your employer offers. You may find that you are already leaving money on the table because you have a gym membership or participate in a weight loss program that qualifies for an incentive from your employer.
No matter what changes you may make, if any, during this year's open enrollment period, don't let your selection deadlines slip by without action. Doing nothing could end up costing you significantly, through higher premium costs, lower coverage, or missed opportunities to optimize your health care dollars.
For more help making Open Enrollment decisions, visit the Dignity Health website here.
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