This is the first in a series of posts intended to help you make smart benefit choices at Open Enrollment. Although you do not yet likely know your employer’s plan offerings or share of costs, there are things you can do now to better prepare yourself for making informed decisions about your family’s coverage and care once the information is presented. The first step is to assess your family’s utilization for the current year.
- Was your care limited to routine exams and/or screenings? Or, were you engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of injury or illness?
- Are you satisfied with your in-network plan and provider selection?
- Did you have enough in your savings to cover your out-of-pocket costs?
- Have you identified any gaps in coverage?
- Did you take advantage of pre-tax savings opportunities for reimbursement of Health Care expenses, Dependent Care and/or Commuter costs?
Earlier this year, the financial advice company, NerdWallet, found that medical bankruptcy is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. (source: http://www.theatlantic.com/archive/2014/10/why-americans-are-drowning-in-medical-debt). Insofar as your family’s health care is of utmost importance, be sure to carefully evaluate your current plans to determine if they protect your family from financial risk as well.
You are on your way to making informed decisions this open enrollment! Keep an eye out for additional tips to help you get the most out of your family benefits.