‘Tis the season for employee benefit open enrollment! Some of you may be attending meetings at work that involve overview and changes of your current (or new) insurance plans. Typically, most employers automatically enroll their employees into certain insurance plans, but there are additional insurance options that you may want to consider. Think of these optional insurance plans as another investment of yourself! If you are unsure of what you may, or may not be paying for already – check your pay stub, and/or talk to your supervisor, boss, or HR Department.
What does open enrollment mean exactly?
Think back…remember when you first started your new job and it was an absolute whirlwind. All the sudden you had a copious stack of paper that outlined your benefits, 401(k), vacation policy, etc. Sign here, sign there, opt into this…biz, bang, boom and you’re off! Welcome to the real world, where insurance is a real thing & now being paid for from your pocket. Taking on more responsibility adds excitement to that leap into adulthood we are now experiencing. Open enrollment is essentially a time for employees to evaluate their insurance options, sign up, or drop coverage. Your insurance needs may vary from year to year based on preferences and life happenings, so check it out. It is important to attend the overview of open enrollment and how it pertains to you.
Can you give me a brief overview of some common types of insurance?
Of course, with all the paperwork comes curiosity and questions. Why should I sign up & better yet, pay for something I don’t even understand? Every question you have about insurance is an incredibly valid question. Heck, you could even ask someone 20 years older than you and they still may not comprehend the jargon that is involved in the insurance packets. So I want to give you the short 4-1-1 on common types of insurance your employer may offer.
- Health care is incredibly expensive (have you ever viewed your insurance claims to see those staggering numbers?). Having health insurance allows for people to receive the care they need without acquiring all the high costs along the way (USA.gov). Health insurance plans involve deductibles, premiums, and typically an array of free preventative care. As an added kick, some employers offer HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts) or other medical savings plans. For more extensive information on health insurance check out healthcare.gov.
Short Term Disability Insurance
- What happens if you fall incredibly ill, or have an accident that enables you from having the ability to work? All of the sudden, you would have no form of monetary compensation. That is where Short Term Disability Insurance comes into play. This type of insurance pays a certain percentage of your salary in order for you to still stay financially sound, without having to dip into your savings. For more information, check out your insurance providers website as to what more this benefit can offer.
Long Term Disability Insurance
- Evolving from Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability insurance typically kicks in once Short Term coverage is complete. According to The Hartford, ‘Three out of 10 workers will face a condition that lays them up before they retire’ (thehartford.com). Long term is just like the name states, coverage for things such illnesses to injuries. Not only is a certain percentage of your salary paid, but there are other free services offered that could assist during the time of disability.
- As someone in their 20’s, it is challenging to comprehend the idea of placing a price tag on my life. But to me when I think ahead, I would like to make sure that those I love are protected. A Life Insurance policy is a way to ensure that those designated (as beneficiaries) will be taken care of after your passing. This is a difficult topic, but it should be brought to attention because it is an option. There are different tiers of life insurance and coverage, so make sure to review options available.
401(k), Car Insurance, Renters Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, etc.
- There are so many types of insurance that we all have. So while you’re at it, why not review it all since it’s on your mind?! Rebalance your 401(k), review car insurance options, opt into renters insurance. I don’t know about you, but the ‘Mayhem’ marketing that Allstate does truly makes me think about life and all of it’s craziness. It’s time to protect yourself as much as you can so you do not need to add any more stresses than you can possibly bear.
So, why should I get insurance again?
Yep, I know..more dollars that are being taken away from your monthly income. I get it. Budgets are tight enough as it is. Here is one of the easiest analogies to consider enrolling into optional insurance plans your employer offers:
You just started riding your brand new, shiny bicycle (it’s got pom-poms & a bell, Spiderman or Ninja Turtles, or maybe if you’re into that ‘Brink’ vibe you’re roller blading instead). You say, ‘C’mon now mom & dad, I’m invincible & sooo good at riding my bike that I don’t need a helmet!’ The chances of crashing and/or falling off your bike are incredibly miniscule. Granted, your parents don’t want to see you get hurt, and in the back of your mind – you really don’t feel like getting hurt either. So you have all made a mutual agreement that you will wear a helmet to PROTECT yourself from a potential outcome (of the possibility) that you could fall off the bike and hurt yourself. Helmets save lives. That’s some safety 101!
So it’s like that…I agree that we are young, healthy, smart millennials. We know, or at least have learned what we should (or could) not be doing in order to remain safe. Opting into different insurance allows us to protect our future selves from any potential outcome that we could not foresee or predict. Not only from a health standpoint, but also protecting us from a financial standpoint as well. All that hard work & saving to create an emergency fund could be eradicated by just one incident. Consider the insurance options your employer offers to prepare yourself from these setbacks.
I know, I know. You’ve got lots on your plate. And yeah…we’ve got lot’s of holiday goodness & cheer going on around us. That’s what I’m here for! To give you that slight spark & knowledge of all the things that could potentially blindside us, and how we can protect ourselves from it. You’ve got several options and that’s wonderful. The best thing? Get signed up & get insured. Protecting your health & finances is vitally important – so take advantage of what your employer is offering. So hopefully after reading this post I didn’t ruin your life by cramming 11 cookies into the VCR (wait..do you know anyone who still has a VCR??)…
Keeping you informed & getting Generation Y excited about what used to be mundane one blog post at a time…
All my best,