If you barely take a second glance at your benefits when open enrollment rolls around, you’re not alone. According to a 2017 Aflac survey, more than 90% of employees keep the same benefits they had last year. And that could cost you a potentially significant amount of cash.
So when you get the email from your company about open enrollment, it’s worth it to take some time and look at what you’re really getting. Here are some reasons why you should review your benefits:
Review Your Benefits: Know What You’re Getting
It’s not just laziness that causes people to procrastinate on reviewing their benefits. Many people are confused about what the benefits actually mean, and what they should be looking for.
If you’re not sure what to look for, ask for clarification. Many companies set up time for employees to meet with Human Resources about their benefits during open enrollment, but if your company doesn’t, request time to have your questions answered. This is a good time to go over your benefits with your financial planner and your CFP, if you work with one.
Are Your Benefits Still a Good Fit?
Your life today probably looks different than it did five years ago. So if it’s been a while since you checked over your benefits, you might not be using them to your advantage.
Maybe you need to start visiting the doctor more frequently or you plan to have a child. Those situations would warrant another look at your health insurance plan and deductible.
Is your life insurance coverage enough? Have you been thinking about adding on disability insurance? Are there any benefits you’re missing out on? These things don’t take long to check over when open enrollment comes around, but they can cost you or save you a hefty amount, so try to stay up to speed on your benefits.
What You Definitely Shouldn’t Forget
If you don’t have the time or the desire to review your benefits with a fine-toothed comb, at least pay attention to these important points:
- Big changes in the year ahead: Getting married or divorced? Having a baby? Anticipating major medical expenses? If you’ve got life changes happening over the next year, make sure your benefits reflect that. For example, if you’re getting married, you might need to compare your health care benefits to your spouse’s to see if you want to join their plan instead.
- Has your plan or provider changed? A change in your plan or provider could cost you serious money if you’re not aware of what is and is not covered. Make sure you at least skim the information from your insurance coverage so you don’t run into surprise expenses down the road.
- Your 401(k): Take a look at your 401(k) every year, and make sure you’re still familiar with your company’s match policy. (Don’t forget to claim your matches if you haven’t!) Also verify your direct deposits are still allocating the right amount into your account.
- Hidden perks: Some insurance companies will lower your premiums for participating in surveys or becoming CPR certified. Many insurance plans also offer discounts for fitness clubs, programs to help smokers quit, weight loss programs and some surgeries, like Lasik. Check over your plan to make sure you’re not missing out.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes you too should have access to financial resources and fee-only financial planning. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.