Open Enrollment and Choosing the Right Health Insurance
The time has come for workers all around the nation to really begin thinking about health insurance. For a number of employer-sponsored benefits plans renewing coverage this year, open enrollment has begun. Thanks to the health care law that was recently passed by Congress, the plans for next year may include several changes including free preventative health care. However, such plans will likely come at the price of higher premiums for employees and their employers to pay.
Things to Know about Health Insurance Open Enrollment
As you start to receive notices from the human resources department, here are a few things for you to consider:
- Is your plan still the right one for you? Do not simply dismiss open enrollment until you have at least taking a look at your coverage to make sure it still suits you.
- Unless you have a baby or get a divorce, there’s only one chance you have to adjust your benefits every year.
- You may be risking considerable savings since benefits and costs can change from one year to the next and you employer may have more coverage options available.
- Should you renew or begin a flexible spending account? A flexible spending account makes it possible for employees to keep back pretax earnings for medical expenses that may not be covered by insurance. However, those funds must be utilized within the year in which it is kept aside or it will be forfeited. If you have regular medical expenses such as contact lenses or prescription medications, you may be an ideal candidate for accounts such as these.
- How will your benefits be affected by the health care overhaul? A number of provisions of the new law are set to take affect for plans starting next year. Insurance companies must cover preventive care like immunizations without charging the patients a copayment or other type of cost sharing. Lifetime restrictions on the monetary value of the coverage will not be allowed. In addition, children up to the age of twenty-six will be able to remain dependents on their parents’ plans.
photo credit: millionmonkey