In November of last year my husband was laid off from a job he had for 7 years. We were considered lucky because it was a required buy-out, meaning they had to buy him out of his job and part of that package included 6mo of Health Insurance. The insurance that he had was amazing, truly phenomenal in regards to Employee packages. It was one of the scariest moments we’ve had as a family when May rolled around and we had no insurance because despite months of searching, there just weren’t any jobs available.
This was an important moment in our lives because we were on our own. If being out in the world without Health Insurance does anything, it makes you aware of the importance of it and the importance of being knowledgeable about what is available. When my husband was searching for a job, he wasn’t only searching for something that was going to give a paycheck, but a job that was going to provide the type of care we had researched together. We realized that with a lot of my health conditions, there were things that weren’t available to me; some which weren’t available for my allergy prone tot. For months we read everything there was to know about insurance and when he finally landed a job, we were thankful that the insurance they provided. That wasn’t the end of the road for us though, we were looking into something more. You never know when something will happen and the insurance company isn’t there to fall back on, sometimes you need what is called Supplemental Insurance – a Safety Net perse, to cover the bills that Health Insurance doesn’t.
A recent Press Release through Aflac discusses how American Workers waste month’s worth of grocery costs due to poor benefits, mainly due to poor choices. So many of us don’t take advantage of the Open Enrollment period that jobs offer, that time when they offer you the full list of benefits available to you and the options that you have. There is this reaction, like auto-pilot, where we just react by hitting whatever was before. This unfortunately costs us more money than we realize. USA Today shared some quotes from Aflac in their article about Health Care Enrollment, among them were these:
- Many employees, 89%, say that they simply elect the same benefits options every year.
- Nearly half of workers (47%) say that they rarely or never exceed their deductible costs.
- Only 16% contribute the right amount to flexible spending accounts.
When benefits change during open enrollment, it’s important to pay attention because deductibles can change, co-payments, pharmacy costs; even who handles these claims could change. Once a few years ago during an open enrollment we found ourselves with a completely different pharmacy claims division who raised the rates on our out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions! And in some cases, on a plus side, they offer incentives for those of us that are trying to get healthy through wellness programs. These incentives can sometimes include lowered weekly/monthly healthcare costs.
“It was shocking to me when I saw that 52% of employees in our survey said that their company does not communicate with them at all about the open-enrollment process,” Tillman says. “But if the benefits are not appreciated, or understood, or utilized in a way that is meaningful to employees, it’s a waste on the employers as well.” – USA Today
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Aflac and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.