Take Advantage of Insurance Open Enrollment Periods

Disclosure – 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.”

Health Savings

I started a new job in September and I happily switched my family’s health insurance over to the company’s policy even though it was a little more expensive because it actually covers more and my portion of the payment comes out of pre-tax dollars from my paycheck. Well not long after I started work I began getting emails that the open enrollment period had begun and I figured that I didn’t need to pay much attention since I had just signed up for coverage only a couple weeks before. What  I didn’t realize was that there were some changes to the way the policy works and that I needed to go through them and sign off as a non-smoker and put in information that hadn’t been requested before in order to avoid new surcharges that would be additional fees coming out of my paycheck.

Although the company did a good job of letting me know about the open enrollment period, they didn’t point out that it could be costing me more money if I didn’t at least take a look at the changes that were coming. Fortunately someone else at work let me know and I have now avoided the extra $40/month they would have been charging me for a full year until the next open enrollment period when I could make changes.

According to an Aflac survey 69 percent of workers say their employer hasn’t communicated changes coming to their benefits package due to health care reform  despite the October 1 deadline for employers to notify their employees of their coverage options.

I wanted to take this opportunity to  encourage you guys to learn more about your health insurance options and to ask questions about your coverage if you don’t know exactly what you have or what changes are being made due to new health care reform laws. Before I switched policies I actually called the insurance company and got their help in comparing their policy with my old one so I could make an informed decision, but I still would have lost money if I hadn’t taken the time to go over the policy again during the open enrollment period.

That health insurance survey I mentioned earlier also found that 60 percent of workers have not begun to educate themselves about coming changes to their benefits package due to health care reform, but it’s your money and your health so take charge of it by taking a few minutes to better understand what you have and what changes, if any, are being made. You’ll be glad you did!

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