If you are like me and would rather do just about anything than go through health care plan paperwork, you definitely need to read this. In fact, in the 2016 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey millennials reported they would rather go without social media, eat their least favorite food, see a movie or concert they know they won’t like, talk to their ex, walk across hot coals, or change baby diapers instead of completing their annual benefits enrollment. I’m right there with ya, I’d rather do any of those things than figure that mess out.
The thing is, avoiding it and rushing through the paperwork can lead to costly mistakes that many of us simply can’t afford. I know that for us, having student loans, combined with a mortgage, and owning a business means I can’t afford to not know what kind of coverage I have.
In the U.S., fall marks open enrollment season, the period of time where you can review your employer-sponsored benefits offerings and chose the health care policies that best fit your needs. Even if we don’t intend to change anything about our coverage, every year, right before our anniversary (mid-November) Mr. Hungry and I sit down to review our coverage.
If we have questions he contacts the benefits enrollment specialist for answers. (Most employers have these so if you have questions find out who the correct person is to contact with your questions!) We chose a high deductible plan, known as HDHPs. These plans are becoming more popular, in fact, over half of millenials report having this type of plan. Sometimes the plan is chosen without really understanding the options or sometimes it forced. For us, we have a $2000 deductible with no monthly premium (for a family) which was our best option. In fact, that was the lowest deductible we could possibly obtain.
Until writing this post, I never really thought about the consequences of an accident that would require us to pay out the entire deductible. It makes me think about the boulder I hit in my car the other day, what if that was a real accident? I also think about the naturopath that I’ve been working with. She is amazing (planning to discuss soon), but it would definitely be nice to not have to pay out of pocket. If we didn’t have those expenses, would we be able to do things like visit family more often? I honestly had no idea there were other options outside of the general health care plan you chose to help you cover your deductible. Options such as a health savings accounts or voluntary insurance, like Aflac’s, are intended to provide you the cash for out of pocket expenses. Basically, voluntary insurance is cash directly to you, which means you get to decide how it is used. It can give you peace of mind when paying co-pays, visiting providers that aren’t covered, and in the case of a large unexpected medical bill.
After learning all of that, Mr. Hungry and I will definitely be digging a little deeper to see how we can better protect ourselves this year.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.