Choose employee benefits wisely
Decide if changes are in your best interest
Once per year, I get an email from my human resources department with forms for “annual open enrollment.” As it is in many organizations, my open enrollment period falls in the last few months of the year – in the middle of the holiday season when my work and personal life can get hectic. I’m tempted to ignore it, or rush through it just to get it off of my desk.
It would be a mistake for me to do this, and it could be for you as well.
Open enrollment is the time of the year when you can make changes in the benefits you receive from your employer. You may not realize that after open enrollment ends, you likely can’t make changes until the next sign-up period – a year from now! A wrong decision – or no decision – could hurt you financially and cannot be immediately fixed.
When you receive your employee benefits open enrollment information, ask yourself:
•Am I anticipating additional medical expenses? If yes, consider increasing amounts in your health savings account or flexible savings plan, both of which can help you save on taxes.
•Could we have dental or vision expenses that insurance might help pay?
•What would we do if a family breadwinner couldn’t work? Should we consider disability insurance?
•Could we put a few more dollars toward our retirement savings plan?
Don’t just cruise through this open enrollment process this year. Take time to consider your financial needs for the upcoming year.
Michael Whiteman is a Financial Advisor in the Everence office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.