Taking Advantage of Benefits
I can not advocate enough how important it is to spend time researching benefit options before open enrollment season. How many of you read over your policy from the year before? I can not encourage you enough to at least make the time to do this. I also make sure to take advantage of educational sessions provided by my employer on my benefit package. I find these sessions helpful as they give you highlights and encourage you to explore the other possibilities. You may be surprised to find that you could be saving money simply by making a few changes. By not researching benefits options ahead of time it can lead to very costly mistakes. For example, 42% of workers waste up to $750 a year on mistakes with their insurance.
I highly encourage you to visit Aflac WorkForces Report website for more information on open enrollment. Did you know that Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company providing individual and group voluntary insurance products that help deliver protection to more than 50 million people worldwide and that for nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress? They also offer voluntary insurance polices, designed to supplement major medical plans and even offer cash benefits that can be used to help pay rent, child car, gas, groceries, or other out of pocket expenses a worker may have. Aflac offers accident, dental, life, vision, cancer, hospital intensive car and more voluntary insurance policies.
Selecting the right health insurance plan may be one of the most important decisions you will make this open enrollment period, yet many workers do very little research on their health plans. The 2014 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey found that 41 percent of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options during the 2013 open enrollment season; and nearly a quarter (24 percent) spent five minutes or less. Interestingly, American workers typically spend more time:
- Researching for new car purchases — 10 hours.
- Planning family vacations — five hours.
- Shopping for new computers — four hours.
- Deciding what television to buy — two hours.
Employees pay an average of $4,536 a year in premiums for an employer sponsored health plan but only 15 minutes of time devoted to benefit selection in comparison to time spent researching popular consumer purchases.
Trust me...I understand it can be confusing! That is why I encourage you to take advantage of benefit education resources such as info sessions offered by your employer, and to take time to understand the financial implications your choices have on your budget, and, finally, to review and compare the benefit information at least annually.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.