October is here and it's finally starting to feel like Fall! Do you know what that means? It means Open Enrollment is upon us and this year Aflac wants us to take advantage.
What is it?
For all who may not know, Open Enrollment is the time of year when employers present to their employees the benefits their insurance plans offer. During this period you will make decisions about which level of coverage you would like. After Open Enrollment the decisions you have made about which benefits you want are typically binding and mostly cannot be changed.
Why we need to take advantage now?
According to new research done by Aflac, an estimated 56% of employees waste up to $750 a year because of mistakes made during benefits elections. $750 actually is about how much one individual may spend on around 4 months worth of groceries.
Common Mistakes Made During Open Enrollment:
-Choosing the wrong level of coverage. (Mistake made by 1 in 4 Americans)
By choosing a coverage plan at a lower level, while you and your family may be getting basic coverage, there will be other things that you will find out later are not covered. Let's same you only have a certain amount of dental insurance and while they can cover your child's teeth cleanings they don't cover the braces your kids might need. Then what? You'll have to pay out of pocket.
-Choosing the same benefits each year. (Mistake made by 89%)
It's understandable, times are tough right now and this is undoubtedly one of the most expensive times of years for some families and you just don't have the time to look into all these plans. BUT just imagine how much easier it would make things if you looked into and got the actual plan that suited you best. I'm sure that $750 you saved would come in handy to help cover all the other little things major medical doesn't.
-The wrong amount contributed in Flex spending. (Only 16% get this right)
Typically people choose to guess, but the fact is that you need to take the time to sit down and go over all your typical monthly expenses and figure out the closest you can get to how much you actually contribute to Flex spending.
-Not even being aware of policy changes. (6 in 10)
Take a second look at your plan. Even if you decide to just go ahead with the same plan again this year, as least review it again because policies do change and you need to be made aware of them. The reason this is so important is because believe it or not there are some companies that won't even tell their employers about open enrollment so you need to take matters into your own hands.
Circumstances change. It's a simple fact. Life’s full of unexpected delays and with those delays come repercussions that you and your family may not be ready for. You could be injured in a car accident tomorrow and your family could end up drowning in debt from hospital bills, auto repair bills, and you being temporarily out of a job. In our family it almost seems like we're adding a new family member every year and you want them to be covered. This year my daughter needed glasses and if I didn't already have a coverage plan that took care of that for me, I would have had to pay out of pocket. Another one of my daughters, was hospitalized with phenomena and had to stay in the hospital for nearly an entire week. Fortunately their insurance was able to cover all the costs and she was able to get all the medical attention she needed. Some families may not have been so lucky. Don't let yourself be taken advantage of, use this year's upcoming open enrollment and get informed. It could help you both financially and medically.
Aflac has created this overall guide complete with a list of common mistakes typically made during Open Enrollment and a few tips to help you chose the right benefits, click here to view.
Open Enrollment period is coming, are you ready for it?
“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Aflac and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”