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.
Ah the dreaded health insurance meeting at work. We just had it last week and let me tell you that just adding the children to my current plan wreaks havoc each month - the "family" plan would put an even larger dent in my paycheck. The semi-monthly deduction went up yet again and I have a month to decide if I will stay on the current plan or make a change. I'm not really info saavy on the options and rarely do I stray from my current plan so I was eager to learn some tips from Aflac.
Aflac is the No. 1 provider of supplemental and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States. I am definitely in the 74th percentile of workers who sometimes or never understand everything that is covered by their insurance policy today. There are so many options (most of which do not apply to me) and coverage which may be necessary for my kids, just in case, that need to be considered.
I admit that I have not been as attention to news now that I work full-time during the day then go home to "work" with the kids. 60% of workers have not yet begun to educate themselves about the upcoming changes to their benefits packages due to health care reform. I am a part of this statistic as well.
There are 3 major factors this enrollment period:
1. Employers' increasing adoption of high-deductible health plans
2. Scaled down benefit plans
3. Increasing premiums
Employees will need to pay close attention to understanding their benefit plans to avoid higher deductibles, co-pays, or gaps in coverage that can result in unmanageable out of pocket costs in the instance of an emergency.
Did you know that 20% will trade down on their benefits package by accepting decreased coverage to get a lower premium? Nearly half the employees surveyed have less than $1,000 in savings for medical expenses. I myself did accept a high deductible plan for about $1,000 annual savings in premiums. Since I rarely go to the doctor, it works for me. However, in the unimaginable chance that something horrendous happens to me or the children, we will have a huge deductible to pay.
- Prepare ahead of time. Be aware of annual insurance policy changes and review the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for health care services and pharmacy purchases. I am taking my packet home to discuss with Hubs about our options and what's best for the family.
- Don't make assumptions. 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. To add Hubs to my insurance plan, it will be an additional $4,000 annually. He has always been on his own insurance plan and we are going to weigh the options when he begins his new job next week.
- Don't double up. Check all aspects of your major medical plan so you know what is covered and what isn't. I actually had my own insurance plus was on Hubs' insurance at one point. I thought it would be fantastic but in the long run, I suppose we could have saved that extra money.
- Examine premium costs carefully: Cheaper isn't always better! I should mentally be prepared to shell out the money.
- Consider supplemental insurance. I've never thought about this but I should considering my mother and her husband have serious extra bills due to their recent health issues. Genetically, I should prepare myself for the worst....just in case.
Check out Aflac's Open Enrollment Resources for helpful information and direction when preparing yourself to make the right decisions for yourself and your family.