I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for #Aflac. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
I have a couple of questions for you.
- Do you understand your employer’s health insurance benefits?
- Do you know what is offered?
- Do you happen to know that your policy might change a bit each year?
You may be part of the 74% of workers who waste up to $750 per year because they do not understand everything covered by their current health care policy. Not only that, but the majority admit they have made mistakes during the open enrollment process.
I have to admit, I have never taken advantage of our open enrollment period. Never, not once. We’ve had the same insurance for 9 years now and the open enrollment period comes and goes each year… and we sit back and let it pass on by.
I do not currently have any supplemental insurance and I am not an Aflac customer, but I recently read statistics provided by Aflac and was very surprised to learn that 69% of workers say their employer has not communicated the changes that will be coming to their health care benefits due to the health care reform (including my husband). That is shocking to me because there was an October 1st deadline for employers to notify their employees of the upcoming changes to their coverage. Crazy, huh?
Throughout the last few years, I have come to realize that it’s ‘every man for himself’ when it comes to these things. We each need to step up and dig in to find out the details of our health care plan and any changes that might come into play during the open enrollment period.
Here are some tips from Aflac that you, as an employee, can use to avoid the common mistakes made regarding your health care coverage and change:
- Prepare ahead of time: Be aware of annual insurance policy changes and compare your new benefits package to your policy from the year before. Do your homework to ensure you choose the right policy that fits your needs and make sure that all of the health insurance costs you’re responsible for are within your budget. Also, review the
deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for health care services and pharmacy purchases you’ll be responsible for paying to ensure your plan offers the coverage you need.
- Don’t make assumptions: Keep in mind that if your company hasn’t made any material changes to its health insurance
plan since health care reform legislation was passed in 2010, it may be exempt for now from offering widely discussed
essential health benefits, including free preventive services. Ask your HR manager if your policy options changed to include new benefits made available by health care reform.
- Check your spouse’s benefits package: Your employer doesn’t have to offer insurance to your spouse and as costs increase, more companies are cutting this option. Even if your employer does offer your spouse insurance, the company is not obligated to pay anything toward the premium. If your spouse has access to employer-sponsored
health insurance through his or her job, it may make the most financial sense to purchase two individual policies as opposed to one family policy.
- Don’t double up: Health care reform legislation requires plans in the individual and small group markets to offer essential health benefits like pediatric vision and dental and, chronic disease management services. Check all aspects of your major medical plan so you know what is covered and what isn’t.
- Examine premium costs carefully: Cheaper isn’t always better, since plans with the lowest monthly premiums likely mean you’ll pay more in co-insurance and receive less coverage.
- Consider supplemental insurance such as accident, hospital or critical illness plans to help reduce rising health care expenses.
Aflac wants to offer you some great information about open enrollment. Here is Aflac’s Open Enrollment Resources – be sure to take a look. This can save you money and give you peace of mind at the same time.
Has your or your spouses employer explained what changes might be coming to your health care benefits?