Action 9: Open enrollment provides opportunity to review options

by: Don Griffin Updated:

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Soon, many people will start hearing about open enrollment at work -- the time of year when you can change your health coverage.

Workers everywhere are getting their open enrollment benefits packages, but many stick to what they did last year and don't even open the packets.

But employees should open and read their packages, because it could be like getting an envelope full of cash.

For one thing, someone who's gotten married or had a new baby should make changes to save on health care.

Even without major life changes, David Contorno, president of Lake Norman Benefits, a consulting firm, said you should review your options.

That's because plans change.

“I think it’s important that we reanalyze our situation every year,” he said.

Contorno said your number one asset is your income, and the way to protect it is by signing up for disability insurance through your plan.

He said even consider extra outside coverage.

“I think for most people, putting up to an hour of pay a week into a program like that usually has a return,” Contorno said.

He also said flex spending accounts for everyone will change come January.

The maximum an employer can allow you to shelter has been lowered to $2,500.

If that's not enough, Contorno said look at opening a health savings account through your plan and set aside $6,450.

Plus, it offers another advantage over flex spending accounts.

“It is not use it or lose it, you keep it,” Contorno said.

So check out your options, and put money back into your pocket.