Friday, November 1, 2013

#Sponsored #Aflac Open Enrollment: How Much Do You Know About Your Health Insurance Policy? #MC

#Sponsored #Aflac Open Enrollment: How Much Do You Know About Your Health Insurance Policy? #MC

Are you ready for Open Enrollment? I recently participated in a campaign through Mom Central for Aflac. I'm not one who likes to deal with insurance but in this day and age it is so important to have the best health insurance and with the rising costs you want to make sure you are getting the best coverage possible.

You may be wondering, what is open enrollment? Every year employees have the option to change their benefits. During open enrollment you are able to make changes to your policy without penalty. Did you know that Aflac’s Open Enrollment Survey found that 69 percent of workers said their employer did not communicate changes coming to their benefits package? That is why it is so important to go to your employer or HR Benefits coordinator to ask questions. Communication and understanding is key. Make sure you ask questions and get the answers you need to better understand your insurance policies. Aflac has some great resources for Open Enrollment education. If you are overwhelmed with information, call your insurance company and they can provide you with needed answers.

Here are some important tips from Aflac

1. Prepare ahead of time: Be aware of annual insurance policy changes and compare your new benefits package to your policy from the year before. Do your homework to ensure you choose the right policy that fits your needs and make sure that all of the health insurance costs you’re responsible for are within your budget. Also, review the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for health care services and pharmacy purchases you’ll be responsible for paying to ensure your plan offers the coverage you need.

2. Don’t make assumptions: Keep in mind that if your company hasn’t made any material changes to its health insurance plan since health care reform legislation was passed in 2010, it may be exempt for now from offering widely discussed essential health benefits, including free preventive services. Ask your HR manager if your policy options changed to include new benefits made available by health care reform.

3. Check your spouse’s benefits package: Your employer doesn’t have to offer insurance to your spouse and as costs increase, more companies are cutting this option. Even if your employer does offer your spouse insurance, the company is not obligated to pay anything toward the premium. If your spouse has access to employer-sponsored health insurance through his or her job, it may make the most financial sense to purchase two individual policies as opposed to one family policy.

4. Don’t double up: Health care reform legislation requires plans in the individual and small group markets to offer essential health benefits like pediatric vision and dental and, chronic disease management services. Check all aspects of your major medical plan so you know what is covered and what isn’t.

5. Be sure to examine premium costs. Cheaper isn’t always better, don't cut back on coverage. You may end up paying more out of pocket and not saving in the long run.

6. Consider supplemental insurance such as accident, hospital or critical illness plans to help reduce the rising health care expenses.

This open enrollment season, take the initiative. Make sure you and your family have the coverage you need to maintain your lifestyle even if the unexpected happens. You can find out more about open enrollment and how to be ready with Aflac’s Open Enrollment Resources.

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