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For many of us, we are just kicking off the Holiday season getting ready for year-end events and thinking about all the things we need to do before the year wraps up. Just as many of us are in the middle of what has become known as Open Enrollment season, too. Open enrollment and health insurances are top of mind and a top news story as well with the launch of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless if you and your family have private insurance, are covered through an employer or are retired, you need to take a few moments to understand your options and how making the right choice will impact your health and finances.
According to consumer research conducted by Aflac, nearly 75% of folks don’t fully understand the benefits that are available to them, either purchased or otherwise. Either because their employer or insurance company hasn’t provided the details if they haven’t taken the time to investigate, there are plenty of your family and friends that are not ready to make a good decision about their health coverage.
Now is the time to take a few moments and gather all the facts. If you rely on employer coverage, reach out to your company’s Human Resources team to understand where plan details can be found. Often times this will be online and the HR team can point you in the right direction. If you have private or supplemental insurance, make sure to call or go online with your account information to uncover options for 2014. Be persistent and keep asking. Employers and insurance providers want to help but some may be easier to deal with than others.
Once you have your 2014 plan and coverage options take a few moments to review your family’s health care needs. Remember, health insurance is different from health care. Insurance is designed to minimize your financial risk. For example, if you have young children you likely will have more Dr visits and checkups. Carefully weigh the cost of office co-pays and deductibles against premium costs. Sometimes having a larger monthly premium can smooth out your monthly budget and protect you from large co-pays and deductibles. It is important to remember that everyone’s situation is different and what works for one person may not be best for another.
It all starts with the facts. Gather the data and set aside some time to plan your choices for 2014. This way you can maximize your benefits and protect both your family’s health and pocketbook.
Take a look at this link with more helpful open enrollment information: Aflac Open Enrollment Resources.