By Daniel Zundel
Open enrollment is the time of year (generally beginning in early November) when you can select or adjust your current employee benefits including your health insurance plan. It's an important decision, so it's best to be prepared. Here are four things to consider:
1. Your health needs: What are your current health needs? Do you have any chronic conditions? Do you see specialists regularly? Do you need prescription drugs? Such questions are important to consider when selecting a health plan. You will want to choose a plan that covers your medications and treatments.
2. Your family's needs: If you have a family, you'll also need to consider their health needs. Make sure the plan you choose covers your dependents and offers the benefits they need. For example, if you have young children, you will want to choose a plan that covers preventive care, such as immunizations and well-child visits.
3. Your budget: Health insurance can be expensive, so it's important to consider your budget when choosing a plan. Look at the monthly premiums, deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket maximums.
4. Health Savings Account: You may want to consider selecting a high deductible health plan (HDHP) which will allow you to contribute to a health savings account (HSA). Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible and withdrawals for medical expenses are tax-free. These benefits make HSAs one of the most tax efficient investment vehicles available. In addition, HDHPs typically have lower monthly premiums than traditional health insurance plans.
That said, these benefits come at the price of a higher deductible than traditional insurance plans meaning that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket before insurance begins to pay. If you know that you will have higher medical expenses than normal next year (an upcoming surgery, a baby on the way, etc.) then the benefits of an HSA may not cover the cost of the higher deductible.
Here are some additional tips for open enrollment:
· Start early: Don't wait until the last minute to choose a plan. Give yourself plenty of time to compare plans and make a decision.
· Talk to your doctor: Your doctor can help you understand your health needs and recommend a plan that's right for you.
· Don't be afraid to ask for help: If you need help choosing a plan, talk to your financial planner
Open enrollment can be daunting, but it's important to remember that you don't have to make a decision alone. There are many resources available to help you choose the best health insurance plan for you and your family.
Coign Capital Advisors is a fee-based investment advisory firm based in Draper, Utah. Specializing in serving retirees, business owners, and entrepreneurs, the firm provides holistic wealth management that goes far beyond investment consulting and strives to attain suitable performance combined with solutions that make clients’ financial goals achievable. Led by J. Matthew Zundel, ChFC®, M. Brandon Riley, CFP®, Adam G. Lefler, Daniel R. Zundel and Courtland Adams. Clients receive a high level of service from a team with more than 100 years of combined experience. To learn more, visit www.coigncapital.com.
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During the holiday season, consider donating to qualified charitable organizations that qualify as an itemized deduction when making your holiday gifts.