Don’t Make These Open Enrollment Mistakes
It’s that time of year for many of us who have benefit choices to make. Here are some of my choice gems so you don’t miss out. This could cost or save you real money.
- Don’t miss the benefits meeting or video. Yes, we’re all busy and the meeting may not be convenient. Some companies are producing videos or live streaming presentations. Worst case, have a trusted and engaged colleague takes notes for you so you don’t miss out.
- Pay attention to health benefit changes. These benefits look to be the most volatile part of packages this year. Look again at high deductible plans if you are motivated to use a Health Savings Account for either short-term payments, pre-tax, or long-term savings, again pre-tax. Please look for telehealth features and use them when needed. May save you a trip to Urgent Care or the ER. Don’t focus on just low premiums. Think about future utilization and risk.
- Maximize your Flexible Spending Account based on your prediction. Both health care and dependent care needs can be paid with pre-tax dollars. Do not be afraid you will lose some money. There are plenty of strategies to use up your allowance including up to 15 months to spend it in some cases.
- Don’t forget to use wellness programs. These benefits are getting more popular. If you’ve got it, use it.
- Don’t forget those other benefits. Many people just maintain last year’s choices. Big mistake for many. Legal, transportation and education benefits may have changed. Get that will and powers of attorney done this year using your legal benefit. Take that course and get reimbursed. Use public transportation and get your subsidy.
So, there you have it. Don’t make these mistakes. We’re talking money in your pocket folks.