On Auto-Pilot With Your Health Plan? Burn $750 a Year
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Are American workers mismanaging their health care options to the tune of $750 annually?
That's what insurance giant Aflac says in its most recent Aflac Workforces Report in addressing open enrollment mistakes.
"Open enrollment" is the period (usually once a year) when workers can make changes to their employee benefits. During that time, the employer lays out what employee benefits are available, and often the insurance companies and financial advisers that run most employee benefits plans make agents available to discuss open enrollment options and answer questions. Most open enrollment programs "open up" Jan. 1 for a time, so that's when most of the 56% of employees Aflac warns about are "wasting up to $750" annually.
Common mistakes include choosing the same benefits as the previous year, especially for health care, even as employees tell Aflac that health care costs are their biggest employee benefits priority.Why the disparity? Aflac says that workers are "confused" over open enrollment options and that employers need to do a better job of bring clarity to the conversation. According to the Aflac study, 65% of employees say they are only somewhat or not prepared for open enrollment season, and less than half of employers (49%) believe they are doing a good job communicating open enrollment options to employees. In addition to blindly choosing the same program options every year (89% do it), mistakes include:
Expect to pay more for health care coverage
Granny is in danger from her prescription drugs.
Young Americans embrace health care reform. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV