I’ll be the first to admit that “grown up” responsibilities aren’t my favorite thing. Just a few days ago I spent half the day tracking down tax waivers, insurance statements, and other paper work we needed to get plates on one of our vehicles. It wasn’t fun, but it was way better than getting a ticket for not having plates because I just “didn’t feel like doing it” – Right? Being a grown up may mean I can buy whatever shampoo and conditioner my little heart desires (my parents made us use V05, because it was cheap), it also means I have to pay attention to important details in life… like insurance benefits. No two families have the same needs, so why should we all just accept the generic benefits offered to us? One of my biggest pet peeves is having to pay for something I won’t/can’t use. By reviewing benefit options I can choose what plans fit me and my family, saving us money. Because we all know it comes down to those dolla dolla bills, am I right? Because I’d rather take a vacation than pay for medical bills or expensive coverage benefits that I will never use.
Selecting the right health insurance plan is one of the most important decisions you could make for your family. Despite that fact, The 2014 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey found that 41 percent of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options during the 2013 open enrollment season; and nearly a quarter (24 percent) spent five minutes or less. Let’s be honest, most days I spend more time than that thinking about what outfit to wear! And that decision, while important, is not nearly as important as your health insurance.
The “easy” thing to do is to just to auto enroll, evidenced by the fact that the same Aflac Open Enrollment Survey found that the majority (90 percent) of workers are “auto-enrolling” or keeping the same benefits year after year. My family isn’t in the same place it was last year, so why should I just assume the benefits from last year will do? Before I had my daughter I never thought about the ER or Urgent Care deductible. We kept the deductible high because we thought our chances of ending up at the ER as 2 responsible adults was pretty low. We saved some money on our monthly premium in exchange for a much higher deductible. Once we became parents we realized children were basically a ticking time bomb for ER visits and coming up with a huge deductible every visit wasn’t going to work with our finances. We all know playgrounds are fun for kids, but going as a parent of a toddler? It’s more like an episode of 1000 ways to die… or end up in the Emergency Room. If not for her falling off the side of the 3 story playground, then for my heart attack as she comes thiiiiiiiis close to the edge and giggles… oh those giggles…
We decided having a more manageable deductible for emergency visits was more important than having a lower monthly premium. Turns out we made the right decision. We have saved several hundred dollars with a lower deductible since our lovely daughter developed nursemaids elbow… like 5 times. It all comes down to figuring out what is important to your family. Sit down with your partner, discuss the options, do the research to understand the financial implications, and the effects insurance coverage has on your healthcare decisions. Once you do I’m sure you can agree that researching your benefits can be counted as time well spent!
For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Check out this page they put together for more information on open enrollment.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.