Don’t miss your window of opportunity to take full advantage of your employee benefits.  There may also be benefits that you want to un-enroll from because you don’t plan on using the benefit in the coming year (ex. Legal Plan).  Taking the time to plan for the coming year and adjusting benefits accordingly can help you save money!

I suggest you make time early in the open enrollment period so you can dedicate ample time to making the best choices.  You may need/want to gather more information before making a benefit selection, so getting started early will give you time to do that.  Use this guide as you navigate your open enrollment…I hope it helps you take a fresh look at your benefits!

Health Insurance:  Re-evaluate your needs for the upcoming year and pick the plan that is best.

  • If you are generally healthy and expect healthcare expenses to be minimal, then choose a High Deductible Plan they have the lowest premiums but the highest deductibles. If, you end up having unexpected medical costs then you will have out-of-pocket costs…but that is why you have an emergency fund!
  • If you have health issues, take regular medications, are planning to have a baby or a planned surgery in the coming year, then choosing a plan with lower out-of-pocket costs would be the best strategy.

Spending Accounts:  Contributions are with pre-tax wages and if you use the money on eligible expenses…you never pay taxes on that money!

Healthcare FSA – Maximum contribution limit for 2024 is $3,200.

  • Use it or lose it (recently you may be able to rollover a small amount into the next calendar year- check with your employer).
  • Only contribute what you plan to spend on eligible healthcare expenses in the coming year.

Dependent Care FSA- Maximum contribution limit for 2024 is $5,000 (single and married filing jointly taxpayers); $2,500 (married filing separately taxpayers).

  • Use it or lose it!
  • Can be used to pay for childcare expenses: daycare, preschool, summer camps, and before/after-school programs.
  • Can also be used for adult care expenses for any adult you can claim as a dependent on your tax return that is physically or mentally unable to care for him/herself.

Health Savings Account (HSA) – Maximum contribution limit for 2024 is $4,150 for an individual and $8,300 for a family.

  • You have to have a high deductible health care plan to be eligible to contribute.
  • Unused funds will rollover, so you can choose to invest the money you have in your HSA and use the funds later for medical expenses.
  • If you are 55 and older you can contribute an extra $1,000.

Disability Insurance– Don’t miss this chance to protect your ability to continue to earn income in the event you are unable to work due to injury, illness, or maternity leave.

  • Short Term Disability coverage is usually paid for by your employer and would provide a percentage of income to you in the event of an injury or illness that prevents you from going to work for a short period of time.
  • Long Term Disability is often paid for by your employer and kicks in after short term disability coverage ends. It will provide income replacement of usually 60-70%.
  • If you have the option to increase your coverage through your employer, we highly recommend it. Premiums can be lower than getting a private disability policy.
  • There may be an elimination period before disability payment begins, so have an emergency fund you can access.
  • Click here to watch a short video all about Disability Insurance.

Life Insurance:  Re-evaluate your life insurance needs and decide if your employer group life insurance options are best for you.

  • Pros of group life insurance: easy to get (no medical exam)
  • Cons of group life insurance: usually not portable and premiums will increase frequently.
  • Explore a private life insurance policy and compare rates with your work provided group coverage.
  • Figure out how much life insurance you need. You generally need life insurance if you have dependents (spouse, kids) relying on your income for housing and education costs.
  • AD&D insurance is cheap, but it rarely pays out due to all the exclusions. It is usually best to have life insurance instead of AD&D.
  • Click here to access a bunch of articles to learn more about life insurance!

If you need help understanding your employee benefits or making a benefit selection, we are here for you!

Vida Jatulis
Vida Jatulis

Vida joined our MainStreet Financial Planning team in 2022. She utilizes her life and work experiences to help clients develop an action plan for a vibrant and healthy financial life. Vida is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with a Master of Science degree in Investments and over 15 years of experience as a Financial Planner, Wealth Advisor, Pension Consultant, Trust Officer, and Portfolio Manager. In addition, Vida has personal experience with struggling and succeeding to reach milestones such as purchasing a home, putting kids through private school, saving for college, achieving debt free status, saving for retirement, raising a family on a single income and much more.

Get Started with Vida

Stay updated on future articles, shows, and podcasts