Getting ready for open enrollment starts sooner than you think. In order to get started early this year, we have put together these tips to help you prepare for open enrollment.
Know Your Open Enrollment Dates
Is there anything worse than showing up to a restaurant to meet your friends and realizing you have the wrong time or date? Don’t let that happen with open enrollment. If you miss the open enrollment period you will be left without benefits for the next full year!
To make it more complicated open enrollment dates vary by employer and are also independent of the health insurance marketplace. Consult your HR representative or visit healthcare.gov for more details.
Define Your Open Enrollment Goals
Once you know when open enrollment begins, define your goals. Do you want to maximize coverage? For yourself? For your family? Is it more important to limit your monthly premiums? It’s likely a bit of both. Define your open enrollment goals so you can look for what you want and personalize your benefits selection.
Prepare, Review and Review Again
Use your past open enrollment success to set up your future benefits selections. Review your current benefits. Forecast your expected costs. Discuss any lifestyle changes or any new benefits requirements or costs.
With that in mind, you can review your plan selections and ensure your needs are met so that you can find coverage for any anticipated costs. This will give you a leg up for all required open enrollment selections.
Are You Covered?
This is not just a question of your benefits coverage, but understanding if your open enrollment benefits work together. Combing open enrollment benefits can extend your coverage. Coupling benefits might be an advanced open enrollment strategy but it can increase your coverage and reduce your tax burden.
Selecting an HSA-eligible health plan, like a high deductible health plan (HDHP) will grant you access to triple-tax savings from an HSA. This makes your health insurance plan selection even more important!
With this in mind, you can decide if it makes sense for you to move health insurance plans next year. If you already have an HSA-eligible health plan, you can add an HSA anytime, no need to wait for open enrollment.
Prepare for Next Year
Open enrollment might be a yearly process and decision, but the benefits you select can prepare (or limit) your financial future for years to come. For most individuals or families this starts (and stops) with your 401(k) contributions.
However, opening an HSA ensures you can save tax-free dollars for short-term health costs and save for health costs well into retirement. You can combine your 401(k) and HSA savings to guarantee you have dedicated tax-free savings for years to come.
Getting the most out of open enrollment this year will mean more savings and coverage for the year to come. While this prepare and review process can be tedious at times, the benefits gained will be there for you (and your family) when you need it most. Use open enrollment to create the personalized benefits plan that fits your budget and needs.
If you need more help with health account decisions, check out our blog. We will make you a healthcare benefits expert in no time, without any extra work or effort on your end.
Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.