29 Aug 2012

Are you ready for open enrollment?

29 Aug 2012

Before I worked at Allpointe, open enrollment was just like the first day on a new job. I was very happy to be working and to get benefits, but I couldn’t wait to finish the paperwork. So I’d just fill out forms, not really reading through any of them. I ended up choosing the same benefits every year. I didn’t know I had options, and I certainly didn’t realize how much money I was wasting. It turns out I wasn’t alone.

According to the 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report, more than 50% of employees don’t know which health plan is right for them, a mistake that can cost up to $750 a year in wasted benefits. This is the second year Aflac has conducted the survey, and the situation is getting worse. In 2011, 24% of workers were confident about their decisions, versus 16% this year.

The Open Enrollment Survey found that many of us are on auto pilot when it comes to the benefits selection process. Nearly one out of every four of the 2,500 respondents admitted they probably choose the wrong level of insurance coverage or options they don’t need, while only 16% of employees are confident they are avoiding mistakes during the open enrollment process.

Here are some other findings:
– More than 6-in-10 consumers (61%) are only sometimes or not at all aware of changes to their policies each year.
– 89% say they simply elect the same benefits options every year.
– Almost half (47%) rarely or never exceed deductible costs.
– Only 16% contribute the right amount to flexible spending accounts.

Healthcare can be complicated, but we cannot afford to not understand our benefits. Paying closer attention to selections during the open enrollment process will save you money. If benefits are not understood, utilized, or appreciated in a way that is meaningful, it’s a waste for us and our employers.

A good broker is a valuable asset and I’m very happy to have Brad by my side to help guide me. If you are an employee and you need some guidance, please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email. If you are a small business owner looking for the best ways to help your employees choose the right packages please also feel free to contact us.

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