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It's open enrollment season. Here's what you should do differently this year

October 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A person uses a laptop computer while working from home in an arranged photograph taken in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.4% as compared with the same time Monday to 6.32 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Every year around this time, companies offer employees the chance to update their benefit preferences during open enrollment. Usually the changes are minimal. Not this year.

If you don't anticipate big costs, a high-deductible health care plan may be a better fit, said Misty Guinn, director of benefits and wellness at Benefitfocus, a benefits management provider.

Others, particularly those who rarely seek medical care, would rather save on premiums and invest the difference in a retirement account or a Health Savings Account (HSA), Guinn said.

Also, said Guinn, people are looking for extras that provide a safety net for health issues that might not be covered by regular health insurance.

"People are looking at those gap coverages differently, now," Guinn said.

Chances are, in some way you're spending money differently now than you were this time last year, said Eric Levy, executive vice president of AIG Retirement Services.

While 401(k) contributions can often be adjusted at any time during the year, open enrollment presents an opportunity to take stock of your personal balance sheet and look for extra savings, said Levy.

"People only have so much they can tuck away for tomorrow so prioritization is key when thinking through where each dollar from your paycheck will go --be it toward your health care, retirement plan or emergency savings. "

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