Open enrollment season is a great time to review your finances and make wise choices based upon your own personal financial journey.
Here are a few of thoughts on open enrollment:
High Deductible Health Insurance Options: If you elect a High Deductible Health Insurance Plan with a Health Savings Account, be prepared to manage your health care dollars. Think of your Health Saving Account as a personal savings account except the funds are used to cover health care costs. You control how much money to set aside for health care costs and manage how these funds will be spent.
Flexible Spending Accounts: If you elect to participate in a Flexible Spending Account, check with your employer to see if they have adopted the amended “Use it or Lose it” rule. Under this amendment, employers have the option of allowing participants to carry over up to $500 of unused funds at the end of the plan year to be used any time during the following year. Also, the carryover does not prevent you from deferring the maximum funds to your FSA in the following year. This program is an alternative to the grace period that some companies offer of up to two and a half months. Many employers are adopting the carryover immediately; so up to $500 in leftover funds from the 2013 plan year can rollover to 2014.
Long Term Disability Insurance: If you are considering disability coverage, think about where you are on the spending spectrum. Do you have high discretionary/low fixed costs and could easily adjust to standard disability coverage equal to 66.7% of your income? Or do you have high fixed costs/low discretionary costs and would be strapped under standard disability coverage? It may be worthwhile to investigate whether your employer allows you to buy up your disability coverage or look at buying additional coverage outside of your employer’s plan.
Life Insurance Beneficiaries: Whether you have basic life insurance paid for by your employer or elect to go beyond this amount, make sure that you name beneficiaries to your policy. You can usually designate a primary and contingent beneficiary. A primary beneficiary is entitled to the proceeds of the policy upon your death. A contingent (or secondary) beneficiary is entitled to the policy proceeds if the primary beneficiary has predeceased you.
Take the time to make the selections that best protect you and your family!