Fall is definitely my favorite season. Fall means football, pumpkins, Halloween, Owen's birthday, bonfires, hoodies, Thanksgiving, and those beautiful colors in the trees!
One thing I do not look forward to in the fall is Open Enrollment. For most U.S. companies, fall marks open enrollment season, a time when employees can review their employer-sponsored benefits offerings and choose the health insurance policies that best meet their financial and health care needs. When Tom brings home his paperwork from work for us to look at, I'd pretty much do anything but that.
As it turns out, I'm not alone! The 2016 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey revealed that many millennials would rather be doing almost anything else rather than completing their annual benefits enrollment.
- 28% would rather go a day without social media
- 22% would rather eat their least favorite food
- 21% would rather see a movie or concert they know they won’t like
- 17% would rather talk to their ex
- 14% would rather walk across hot coals
- 16% would rather change baby diapers.
Millennial employees who don’t set aside time to review their benefits options often end up with inadequate health care protection for themselves and their families. The good news is millennials may be in a position to find some additional cash this year – in fact, up to $750 worth. 70% of millennials estimate that they waste up to $750 because of mistakes they make during open enrollment.
Most workplaces offer the option to speak with a benefits expert about your specific needs and provide online portals to compare plans. Put in the work and really research your benefit options to ensure you're making the best health care and financial decisions for yourself and your family this fall during open enrollment.
Honestly, we usually stick with whatever we've had. Like 56% of millennials surveyed, there are definitely aspects of our overall health care policy (including elements like deductibles, copays or in-network providers), that we don't fully understand. Adulting is hard, right?
I do know that we have to see Charlie's cardiologist every other year and we try to take that into account those years. Of course, anything can happen at any time.
Do you know about Voluntary Insurance?
Voluntary insurance is a key component of health care – especially for millennials who find themselves in HDHPs (high-deductible health plans that have a deductible of $1,000 or more) or with minimal cash in their savings accounts.
If something bad were to happen, voluntary insurance gives you cash to pay things that major medical insurance will not cover. Most of us these days live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford for anything out of the plans to pop up. The truth is, even when suffering from a health event, bills must be paid. Yet, the 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report found that 65 % of employees have less than $1,000 to pay out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected serious illness or accident if it occurred today.
I know how important family vacations, holiday budgets, and savings are to our family. Life is meant to be enjoyed and voluntary insurance is a low-risk expense that makes financial sense for people looking to do just that. The idea of dipping into our fun money just to maintain our lifestyle is sad to me. With voluntary insurance like Aflac’s, you have access to cash benefits that pay you directly (unless otherwise assigned) and quickly – helping to give you financial support and peace of mind.
This year when Tom brings home that dreaded Open Enrollment information, we're going to sit down and really examine our options. Why wouldn't I want to make the best educated decision I can for my family?
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.