It’s that time of the year for many companies in the United States to offer their employees the selection of benefits for them to choose for the next year. It is important for people to pay attention to the open enrollment period because this is the only time of the year that choices for benefits like health insurance can be made.
Even if you are happy with your current selection of medical insurance, you should make sure that you review your Summary of Benefits that the plan will provide for the upcoming year to see if any covered services or costs have changed. You might find that your company has added or enhanced another medical insurance option that would offer you the same or more coverage for less money out of your pocket. At minimum, you should make sure that your coverage in an existing plan that you are happy with is confirmed for the upcoming year.
Don’t be surprised if your part of the monthly premium rises for your existing plan selection or if there are other options for high deductible, or catastrophic health insurance coverage for you to consider. The cost of private medical insurance is rising significantly in the United States and this has resulted in significant additional costs for your employer to provide healthcare as a benefit option. Here are a couple of suggestions to think about for your open enrollment period this year.
First, don’t miss the selection dates. This is usually a limited date range when you can change or add benefits – the most important being healthcare. Your company doesn’t have much flexibility in helping you to change or add health insurance options if you forget or neglect to do this during the open enrollment period.
Second, if your company’s Human Resources department offers informational sessions on your benefit selections for the next year, make it a priority to attend. You will most likely find that most, if not all, of the time allotted for these sessions is to explain your medical insurance options or changes. This is a way for you to get the information to make the best medical coverage decision for the out of pocket costs that are right for you and your family.