You’re probably used to it by now: Every fall when open enrollment comes around, you receive a packet of information from your company about your benefits.
If you’re like a lot of people, you quickly skim that information and sign up for what you had last year.
But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you know exactly what your benefits cover, and increase your coverage if necessary. You should be especially thorough if you had any major life changes this year, like getting married, getting divorced or having a baby.
Don’t worry if you’re feeling unsure about what benefits are best for you. Most companies appoint an HR representative or bring someone in to talk to employees about their options during open enrollment. You can also work with a financial planner to go over your benefits and decide what’s best for you.
Open Enrollment: What Can Change
From investments to health care, small changes in your benefits can have huge impacts. In this post I laid out some important areas to pay attention to, including:
- 401(k) – Check and see if you are able to do after-tax, non-Roth contributions, like I discussed here.
- Company investments
- Employer 401(k) match – Some employers have suspended 401(k) matching due to COVID-19. It may be more beneficial to invest in a Roth or other investment vehicle if your plan has high fees and no match.
- Employer health insurance coverage amount
- Deferred compensation election amounts
- Childcare support – Some companies are offering different forms of childcare support as many children are participating in virtual learning during the pandemic.
Make the Most of Open Enrollment
Open enrollment is an opportunity to opt into certain benefits or make changes. I talked about some of those benefits in this post, including:
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – Dependent care flexible spending accounts are an important consideration for anyone who pays for childcare. FSAs are set up by employers and allow you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible expenses. In the case of dependent care FSAs, those expenses include childcare costs.
- Health Savings Account (HSA) – Not only do HSAs have a triple tax benefit, but they are also an investment option that serves as a hedge against inflation
- Disability insurance
- Coverage updates for your health insurance
- Spousal coverage
Cover Your Bases
Prepare yourself and your family for open enrollment by knowing your needs ahead of time. You can take advantage of open enrollment by having a good understanding of the following:
- Which benefits you are eligible for
- How much you can spend on insurance each month
- Health needs of every member of your family (Maternity care, vision and dental, etc.)
- Wellness programs and other perks
Do you need help deciding which coverage and benefits are right for you? Contact me today to set up a meeting to talk about your goals. You can also download my free ebook for physicians for tips and information about getting your finances on track.