3 movements to make during the open registration period of your company

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The benefits you purchase through your business may change from year to year. This is why employees generally have the option of choosing their benefits each fall, before the New Year, during their company’s open enrollment periods.

If you are in the throes of open registration, it is important to carefully consider your options. Here are some steps worth taking to prepare for 2022.

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1. Get the right health insurance

Some companies offer their employees only one health insurance plan, while others offer multiple options. You will need to carefully weigh your choices to land on the right blanket.

Some insurance plans are known as high deductible plans, which means that you will have to pay more out of pocket before your insurance starts to cover your health services. In return, you could reap two benefits.

First, your premiums (the monthly fees you pay to purchase insurance) may be less expensive, because high-deductible plans tend to charge lower premiums. Second, joining a high deductible insurance plan could allow you to participate in a health savings account, or HSA.

HSAs are similar to FSAs except they offer a lot more benefits. With an FSA, you have to use your money in your plan year or risk losing it. On the other hand, HSA funds never expire and any money you don’t use can be invested so that it turns into a larger sum. All gains from investing in an HSA are available to you tax-free, while gains in a regular brokerage account are taxable. And withdrawals are tax free as long as they are used for qualifying medical expenses.

HSAs are only open to people enrolled in a high deductible health insurance plan. As you review your plan choices, you should be able to see which plans are compatible with HSA.

2. Register with an FSA

A flexible spending account, or FSA, lets you set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for health and child care expenses, like daycare or summer camp. Since FSA funds expire, you will need to make sure that you do not overfund your account. You can pay up to $ 2,750 for health care and up to $ 5,000 for dependent care.

Unlike HSAs, you can participate in an FSA regardless of which health insurance plan you have. And you can allocate money for dependent care as long as you need child care to work or look for work.

3. Get pet insurance

Many people adopted pets during the pandemic. If you’ve taken a similar route but don’t have insurance, you could risk exorbitant bills if your pet needed surgery or treatment for a serious illness. This is why it is beneficial to consider purchasing pet insurance, and some companies offer this benefit to employees. It is very rare for employers to fully cover the cost of pet insurance, but you may be eligible for a subsidized plan through your business.

Taking advantage of your employer’s benefits could save you a lot of money for 2022. It’s worth checking out these changes to your list in the coming weeks. Equally important, be sure to pay attention to your company’s benefits registration deadline. The last thing you want to do is miss the boat and lose the chance to register.


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