November is here, and that means it’s open enrollment season. If you’ve tended to gloss over your benefits in the past, challenge yourself to pay closer attention this year. Even a small tweak can save you money over the year. Here are some ways to make sure you make the most of open enrollment:
Use available resources to prepare
If your insurance is changing from last year, you will probably have questions about what that entails. Even if it’s the same plan and price, you may not have learned much about it in the past. Set up some time to speak with the point person at your company to ask questions. Give yourself enough time to look through any reading material and make an educated decision, especially because so much has changed over the past few years.
Learn the terminology
If you’ve never thought much about health savings accounts, deductibles or the details of plans available to you, it’s a good idea to demystify those options. That way you can understand what is being offered to you when you’re shopping around for different plans. If your employer offers an active enrollment option, where employees reapply for their plans, it’s even more important that you take your time with these decisions. This will give you the opportunity to really weigh your choices and customize a plan that’s best for you.
Assess your budget
You will want a fairly thorough idea of your budget to consider health insurance options. If your coverage costs are increasing, you might need to reassess your spending to make room for that. If you’re considering some insurance add-ons, you will want to know if you can afford it before signing on. Getting a budget laid out will help you choose your plans confidently.
Consider every member of the family
If it’s just you, this step will be simple; how much did you spend out-of-pocket on prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays last year? If you are married or have dependents, make sure you have all of that information for each of them as well. Next, consider your upcoming year. Will you need dental and vision coverage? What about maternity information for a new baby? All of those details will help you piece together a complete coverage package.
Look out for wellness programs
Many employers offer preventative wellness programs for their employees. Those can come in the form of health and diet coaching, free assessments and fitness or weight loss programs. Watch out for benefits through your employer that you may have missed.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re going through this fall’s open enrollment, and you will feel more confident selecting your benefits for the upcoming year.