According to Lincoln Financial Group, two out of three employees won’t even attempt to enroll in new benefits. This statistic surprised me because so much can happen in a year! You could be diagnosed with an illness, become pregnant or give birth, get married, and so much more. All of these life events will affect your employee benefit needs. Open enrollment is here at MGM, and your company might have their open enrollment soon too as the new year is quickly approaching. Open enrollment seems like a self-explanatory term: it’s an open period to enroll in benefits. But what all does open enrollment entail? Many employees frantically enroll in benefits during this time frame, but they might be unsure as to what exactly they should be doing. Here’s a quick FAQ guide to your open enrollment.
What exactly is open enrollment?
Open enrollment is a time during the year when you can make changes to your benefits, typically once a year. These changes can include adding, removing, or adjusting your coverage. You can also make changes to your contribution amounts. All eligible employees are given at least 30 days’ notice before open enrollment begins. This gives everyone time to look over their options and decide which ones they’d like to sign up for or decline. Open enrollment is the time to sign up for any and all benefits such as medical, dental, and vision in addition to an FSA or HSA, life insurance, disability, and much more. Even if you decide you don’t want coverage, it’s still important to waive coverage instead of completely disregarding the benefits.
But I don’t even know what half of these benefits do!
important to be knowledgeable about each employee benefit being offered to you; you’ll be surprised at how handy some of the benefits can be. For example, did you know if you are planning on going on maternity leave or having inpatient surgery that Hospital Indemnity is a benefit that reimburses hospital admission up to a certain amount, as well as daily hospital confinement? This is a great benefit that can typically fly under the radar. Still unsure what your plan means or what a new benefit can do for you? Ask before it’s too late!
Am I underinsured or over insured?
I’m sure this is not what you want to hear, but you are the only person that can tell if you are underinsured or over insured. Your lifestyle, family, and needs should be influencing your decision to enroll in certain benefits. Enrolling in every single form of insurance offered to you at the highest value will cause you to have little of your paycheck remaining. An example of this would be sticking to a medical plan even though the premium went up this year and is no longer affordable. You shouldn’t be cashing out most of your paycheck on insurance. Simply reassess your needs for the upcoming year and adjust which plan you’re enrolled in (i.e., enrolling in a medical plan with a lower, more affordable premium).
As we approach the open enrollment period for employee benefits, it’s important to remember that it’s not just simply a time to choose your insurance options. It’s also a chance to see if there are any existing plans you’re not using properly (such as an FSA account) and correct any mistakes so that they don’t cost you money later! If there’s one thing I’ll always remind you of, it’s that insurance does not need to be complicated or expensive.