Have you completed your open enrollment? If so, great! If not, know your company’s enrollment deadline to elect your benefits. One of the greatest perks of employment, these carefully orchestrated plans are devised by your employer and often your benefits broker. They are largely about preparing for the unknown and transferring the risk of unexpected medical costs to another party, saving you, the employee, and your family financial burden.
Your benefit package is chock-full of details, particularities, and hidden gems that YOU as the user must take the time to learn. Not to worry. You are not in this alone. Do not hesitate to reach out to human resources or your company’s benefits broker for help with questions related to your plan.
This checklist will send you off into the new year on the right foot. Ready to take control of your healthcare needs?
An Employee’s Open Enrollment Checklist.
Open enrollment provides the ideal opportunity to gather and organize resources you may need throughout the year to effectively transfer that financial risk, should you need to.
Dealing with unexpected health issues can be stressful. Especially if you have to scramble to find your plan information! By going through this checklist, not only can future stress be eliminated, but savings can also be achieved.
- I have the most recent ID cards for myself and my family members.
- I know where to find a summary of my plans benefits.
- I have identified a Primary Care Physician and verified they are in the plans network.
- I know where to find the following:
- Information on my plans network (list of Doctors and Hospitals covered by the plan).
- A prescription drug formulary (listing of medications covered by the plan).
- Low-cost options for care and medications, such as Telehealth or Good Rx.
- Information on my plan’s Mail Order Program.
- I understand how to maximize my Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account and utilize my Health Reimbursement Account.
- I know how to reach my benefits broker for guidance.
- I am familiar with additional services my benefits broker offers that could assist my unique needs.
All checked? Fantastic!
You are now equipped with resources and information for whatever the new year throws your way.
Get Educated: Review All Open Enrollment Information Provided by Your Employer.
With online enrollment becoming increasingly popular, there is a chance you are just a few clicks away from detailed educational materials and videos that will help you understand your plan to the fullest. You may have also manually completed your open enrollment on paper. In either case, ask human resources to point you in the direction of available educational materials. Read or watch them carefully, ask questions, and get to know all of the benefits available to you.
Be Empowered. Plan for Coverage Needed in the Coming Year.
Naturally, there are times when we can plan ahead: some elective surgeries, childbirth, blood work, your annual eye exam, the flu shot, and routine preventative care. Take a moment to ask yourself what will be needed when the time comes for these particular services, like your most recent ID card. If you are unsure of where to begin, reach out to your Human Resources department or contact your benefits broker to be confident going into these scenarios.
Inevitably, the new year will also bring surprises! No one likes to think about a possible visit to the emergency room or the onset of unexpected illnesses. While these possibilities may make you feel out of control, you CAN control how prepared you are. Knowing which providers are in-network, and having contact information for your benefits broker at the ready if you need assistance with billing and claims is a great place to start.
Take Note of Change: Your Plan and Your Lifestyle.
Whether you have had a change in employment or have already been on your employer-sponsored plan for a year, look for additions or subtractions from the previous year’s coverage. If you are reelecting coverage, carefully assess what, if any, changes have taken place to the plan that has been assembled for you.
- Are you eligible for benefits as a more tenured employee that were not available to you in previous years, such as an HRA or HSA?
- Had you previously elected into a high-deductible or HSA qualified plan that is no longer available? How will this affect your HSA account?
- Have you recently been diagnosed with a chronic condition or prescribed a new medication? Know where to find low-cost options such as Telehealth or Good Rx.
- Did you change zip codes? Know who your closest in-network care providers are.
- Do you have children who are reaching the age where they may need to be added to your vision or dental plan?
- Are there additional perks such as childcare discounts, gym memberships, a corporate wellness program, or business development opportunities for you to consider?
- Are you or a family member nearing either of the following, and aware of your coverage options and how to prepare?
o Medicare or Medicaid eligibility.
o A child nearing the age of 26 and needing to find alternative coverage.
Understanding how changes to your benefits and your lifestyle will affect the coming year are crucial to proper planning and gaining all potential savings.
Gather and Organize Your Resources.
Now that we have laid out the importance of being as educated a healthcare consumer as you can be, take another moment to dot all of your i’s and cross all of your t’s. Take advantage of any educational materials possible to familiarize yourself with your benefits. Go through the employee’s open enrollment checklist, gathering and organizing all of your resources. Ask yourself what changes to your plan and your lifestyle will affect you in the coming year. And finally, pat yourself on the back for giving your future self a little less stress in the year to come.
Download this free, printable newsletter for the office.
This Month's Nav Series Newsletter is a quick and easy read about gathering and organizing your benefit resources.
Did you enjoy this educational read?
Here are some additional Nav Series Newsletter topics to Help Your Employees Better Navigate Today's Healthcare System:
- The Flu Vaccine & COVID-19
- Prevention and Routine Care
- Forsite Assist
- Life Stage Support
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Difficulty Affording Prescription Drugs?
- What is a Health Savings Account?