By Dana Hannsgen on November 09, 2017
It’s that time of year again when we are overloaded with so much information we don’t know if we are coming or going! Open enrollment season is upon us, and whether you are unsure on what your plan options mean to your specific situation or need to make sure your doctors are still in network, TouchCare is there to help you!
In general, open enrollment refers to the time period or window of opportunity to elect, drop or change insurance plan selections. You can also add or drop dependents during this time. Employers take this time to educate employees on new or changing plan features, or to introduce new plan options. It’s important to pay attention to all newly added or altered plans, so you don’t end up in a plan that is not best suited for you and your family’s needs.
We’ve put together some tips on how to navigate through open enrollment, whether you are the benefits administrator communicating to employees or an employee - so you can stress less while selecting your benefits.
1. Use up any leftover FSA funds that you put in at last year’s open enrollment. Check with your HR team for the stipulations of your plan. Some plans offer a $500 rollover feature, where you are able to use this money into the next FSA plan year. Other plans offer a grace period, where you have time at the end of the plan year to use that money and submit your claims.
2. Make a list of all procedures, doctor visits, prescriptions, etc. you and your dependents have had over the last year. Depending on what plan you choose to enroll in, your out of pocket costs can vary greatly. Use last year’s expenses as a guide as to how much you will use your health plan this year. Allocate costs to each of your expenses and see how they will be covered under the new plans for this year.
3. Weigh the benefits of a High Deductible Plan. Often in conjunction with an HDHP is a Health Savings Account (HSA). While a high deductible plan can scare off some people, it is actually a money saver if you do not have many health expenses. The premiums for these plans are often lower, and the HSA allows you to put money away for medical expenses that never expires.
4. Review dental and vision plans closely. Do you only need preventive checkups and cleanings in the upcoming year? Or do you anticipate needing major services, such as a root canal or orthodontic procedures you’ve been putting off? Do you need a vision exam or glasses this year? Make sure you review how certain procedures are covered.
5. Update dependent information and beneficiaries. Often times, these updates are forgotten during a “passive” enrollment period but make sure to check with your HR team to ensure everyone is covered properly. You could save time and headaches down the road if a dependent is sick or if you don’t have any beneficiaries listed on your life policy.
Still have questions and don’t know where to turn for help? Talk to TouchCare on how we combine our industry leading expertise, with a thorough understanding of your company and its benefits needs to reduce the burden during this busy time of year and all year round.
TouchCare. A healthier understanding of healthcare.
Dana Hannsgen is the Client Relationship Manager at TouchCare and strives to help individuals navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. Dana lives in Long Beach, NY and when not working, can be found cooking or playing volleyball.