Did you recently receive a notice from your employer telling you that it’s time to review your benefit plans? You may have been offered the opportunity to make changes. If this is the case, ACT NOW!
The notice you received probably described a period of days or weeks known as “Open Enrollment”. It’s a common practice for employers to provide an opportunity in October or November for employees to make changes to their benefit options. The time window for open enrollment is well-defined by each employer and you must act within that window.
The notice you received may look complicated and there may be a tendency on your part to put it aside for later. The problem is you may never get around to looking at it. If this is the case, you will miss the opportunity to make changes easily. Changes sought outside this window are difficult at best and may be impossible.
Most open enrollment periods affect some or all of these benefits:
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Life insurance
- Health Savings Accounts
- Flexible Benefit Plans (Healthcare and Dependent Care)
Open enrollment allows you to enroll in benefits for the first time, change current plans or coverage amounts, or to drop a benefit plan completely. It’s important to study your options and choose the ones that best suit you.
It’s also a good time to look at other things not related to open enrollment. For example, review things such as:
- 401(k) plan contribution amounts and investment choices
- Income tax withholding amount
Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what you want to do. These things take some thought and you may want to consult with trusted friends and family members. Now is the best time.