MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For many companies, October is synonymous with open enrollment – the period of time where employees sign up for their benefits for the following year.
So, how can you make the most of your open enrollment? Good Question.
“I think the biggest mistake I see is employees not making informed decisions,” says Sarah Dahl, Director of Employee Benefits with Marsh & McLennan Agency.
Up to one-third of the cost of an employee is due to benefits. Almost three-quarters of employees report being only somewhat knowledgeable about their benefits packages.
Dahl says every employee should look at their open enrollment options every year. Often, changes are made by an insurance company, an employer or the Internal Revenue Service.
When looking at health benefits, Dahl says look beyond the cost of premiums. Ask questions like: What are the deductibles? What are the out-of-pocket costs? How are prescriptions covered? Is there a co-pay?
Some of the biggest benefits employees might miss out on come in the form of pre-tax flexible spending accounts. Those let employees pay for transportation or parking, medical care and dependent care. In some cases, it can add up to a savings of hundreds to thousands of pre-tax dollars.
Some companies also offer benefits like group life insurance or voluntary benefit plans like accident or cancer coverage.
“It’s really important to go to the meetings they have at annual enrollment, pay close attention to those memos and make sure you’re talking about it at home with other family members,” says Dahl.