This post is sponsored by Aflac. I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100-percent mine.
It’s October… and while I am pondering how in the world autumn has already gotten here, I’m totally embracing all things pumpkin (I’ve even got my scarves and boots ready if Texas weather will just cooperate). But there’s one more thing which October brings to my household and probably yours….OPEN ENROLLMENT.
If you have an employer, Open Enrollment is the time you’ll be bombarded with information about health insurance….medical, dental, vision, etc and make decisions locking in those benefits for the next year. Trust me when I say this information is incredibly important, but I know there are challenges.
CHALLENGES WITH OPEN ENROLLMENT
- It’s a lot of information
- It can be hard to understand all the available options (written by lawyers no doubt!!)
- Benefits can change from year to year
The most important thing – READ THE FINE PRINT!
Despite the challenges, you need to:
- Understand your benefits – yes, that means read everything (I know!!)
- Ask any questions
- Make appropriate decisions based on your your stage in life
- Consider supplemental insurance
- Get this all done by the deadline – don’t wait and put it off!
When you think about it, what you choose during open enrollment for employer-sponsored benefits can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Yet, an Aflac survey found that many workers do very little research to learn which plans and products really work best for them. In fact, 34 percent of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options in 2014. Let me repeat that:
FACT: 34 percent of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options in 2014
I was surprised by this statistic…….and I hope that my talking about this today will help some families spend more time understanding their benefits.
Do you know?
- Do you have a policy option that allows for you to choose your own doctor/provider?
This might not be an option for everyone, but it was something that has always been incredibly important to me, and we do pay a bit more for this. But my thinking has always been this. God forbid a horrible diagnosis comes our way – I want to be able to go to whatever specialist I want to, whatever hospital I want to. The top of the line in health care.
This has benefited our family many times and recently I’ve watched as our niece received cancer treatment in another state from where she resided because it was considered the best. Having that option might just make a world of difference in the life of you or your loved one.
- What doesn’t your insurance cover?
While you’ll read a lot about what your benefits do cover, think about what is missing. Then think about what those out-of-pocket costs would mean to your family.
Let’s be real honest….it’s the unforeseen medical event, the big diagnosis which can be heartbreaking. And during that stressful time, the last thing you need to worry about is finances. BUT……..according to a recent Aflac survey, “66 percent of workers would not be able to adjust to the large financial costs associated with a serious injury or illness, and 49 percent have less than $1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses”. That bears repeating…
FACT: 49 percent of employees have less than $1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses
I want you to ask yourself if you have the funds available if something were to happen. Do you?
Let’s talk about Supplemental Insurance
I learned firsthand about the importance of supplemental insurance from my parents. It was something they regularly had through the years. I’m sure it helped them through the most challenging times, especially when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. The expenses associated with a cancer diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy………..you don’t want know, but you need to imagine.
- What exactly is supplemental insurance?
Supplemental insurance consists of voluntary policies, which complement major medical coverage, and are are specifically designed to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses that can be associated with an unexpected illness or injury.
But did you know that supplemental insurance can provide cash benefits can be used to help pay rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses? To be honest, I didn’t know that.
Supplemental Insurance can provide cash benefits to help pay rent, groceries, child care, etc
So many people don’t really understand open enrollment and just sign up for the basics. Maybe that’s okay if you are in your 20s without a family just yet. If you are married, have children, or are older, open enrollment and supplemental insurance need to be topics of conversation in your house. Check out Aflac and see what additional benefits they could provide your family. Both spouses need to know and be informed, not just the employee.
We are all just one phone call away from a life changing event.
If I sat down with you right now, I’d talk candidly about the health of my family. Having received many phone calls that changed my life, I know that we all are just one phone call away from a life-changing event.
I want you to be prepared. It’s a gift you can give your family. Security.
Are you ready for Open Enrollment? Has it started for you yet?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.