Open Enrollment Season for Employee Benefits

Open enrollment for employee benefits season is coming up, and you should certainly take the time to review your benefit choices. Employee benefit experts expect benefits to change next year, like few years before – given the rising costs of health care and the impact of COVID-19 on businesses this year.

Even if you carry the same plan as in past years, you should still spend a few minutes evaluating which one is best for you and your family– whether it is a High-Deductible Health Plan or a traditional plan. Switching from the traditional plan to a high-deductible option might save money if you don’t visit the doctor much. Perhaps too, your spouse’s company now offers a better plan and you can switch the family coverage to the better alternative. It is important to note that improved employer plan descriptions will lay out costs and differences, important for you to compare options to elect the most advantageous option for your family.

Often you receive only one choice for dental coverage, but you might be surprised at how many people decline to pay the relatively small premium for this coverage. Even if young and cavity-free, you can take care of your teeth now to potentially prevent large dental bills in the future. If nothing else, dental insurance typically provides a teeth-cleaning twice a year.

This benefit works great if you wear glasses or contacts and need regular eye exams. However, in several cases it can often be more affordable to forego this coverage and pay out of pocket as necessary.

Life Insurance
Most employers offer some basic life insurance where the coverage is usually a multiple of your salary. If you are married, own a home or have kids, this basic coverage typically falls short. You may need to supplement this minimal coverage with a term policy from an independent provider. These policies come with set duration limits on coverage and you decide whether to renew once the policy expires. Remember that whatever life coverage your employer pays for typically ends if you leave that company.

Long-Term Disability
Standard coverage in this category usually pays 60% to 66% of your compensation if you become disabled and unable to work. As this coverage often comes with a cap, if you are highly compensated, this insurance might also fall short to sustain your standard of living. In that case, outside coverage may be necessary as well.

Long-Term Care Insurance
LTC pays for assisted living, a nursing home or in-home care late in your life.
Even as our lifespans increase, long-term care premiums escalate. If your employer offers any coverage at a relatively inexpensive group rate, you may consider locking in some protection depending on your age and expectation of future illness.

Flexible Spending Account
This savings account reduces your taxable income and funds medical co-pays, orthodontist appointments and prescription drug orders, among other expenses. Remember that if you participate in an HDHP, you maintain a related health savings account and can only take advantage of a limited FSA.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
If you pay for day care, after-school programs or summer day camps for children under age 13 or for elder care for a dependent parent, DCAs help you offset that cost with pre-tax dollars. A working couple can set aside up to $5,000 from paychecks.

Additional Benefits
Further options are being offered more and more by employers, such as mental health service options and gym or health club memberships. Be sure to ask your HR representative of any further benefits that may be offered to you as part of your employment.

Reviewing Your Options
While there are often several different options available, talking with an advisor will help you determine the most advantageous elections for you and your family. Please contact our office and we’ll be happy to review your options with you.

Simonet Financial Group, LLC
[email protected]
Phone: (512) 296-8962

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