Start Your Year Strong: Benefits Checklist
As we set our sights towards the new year and new decade, now is a great time to look at your benefits and plan for the new year. While physical health goals tend to get the emphasis during a new year, your financial health is equally important. Spend some time this month doing the following tasks to set yourself up for a smooth new year.
Review Your Benefit Elections
Regardless of whether or not you just completed your benefits enrollment or if it's in the near future, now is a good time to review the benefits you've chosen. Consider asking the following questions:
- What changes have been made to my benefit plans?
- Has your employer changed medical providers? Have there been changes to your existing policies? Review these changes and make sure you understand the options you've elected, or what changes you would like to make during your next enrollment period.
- Are you planning on certain life changes in the upcoming year?
- If you're planning on getting married or starting a family, now is a good time to review your benefits. For example, a couple getting married may consider reviewing the cost of premiums if each person kept their coverage versus both people joining one spouse's healthcare plan.
- Do you know your plan year dates?
- Take time to review when your plan year begins, as well as key dates like elimination periods for disability policies. Knowing this information now can help avoid confusion in the future.
Review Your Beneficiaries
If the previous year brought family changes, from the addition of a child to a change in marital status, make sure your beneficiaries are up to date. Here are just a few places we recommend you review and update where needed:
- Workplace-sponsored benefits
- Life insurance policies
- Pension Plans
- Health Savings Account (HSA)
Review Your HSA or FSA Contributions
Use this time to review your qualified healthcare expenses from the previous year and estimate what your expenses will be for the year. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you won't be able to change your contributions outside of your enrollment period. However, keeping track of your expenses now will help you have a good idea of how much money you typically spend on healthcare expenses each year.
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can adjust your contributions to help cover medical expenses at any point in the year, as long as you have not already hit the annual maximum contribution. Reach out to your benefits department to make changes.
Review Your 401(k) Contributions
Similar to your FSA or HSA, the beginning of the year is an ideal time to plan your 401(k) contributions. If your employer offers 401(k) matching, review the employer match and adjust your contribution amounts to maximize the match, if possible. Especially if you saved money on premiums or other expenses, it may be a good chance to make an increase. Now is also a good time to review your portfolio and reach out to your provider if you have any questions.
Schedule Your Annual Exams
Don't let the year sneak by without visiting the doctor for your annual exams. Schedule these now so you're not scrambling for an appointment at the end of the year. And don't forget - if you have certain American Fidelity products, you may have an annual wellness benefit. Don't let this benefit go to waste!
Start the New Year Strong
If you're an American Fidelity policyholder, there are a few more things you can do to start the new year on the right foot.
- Make sure you're enrolled in direct deposit to receive your claims payments faster
- Go paperless! Update your account preferences to receive paperless EOBs as well as email and text alerts.
Updating and reviewing your accounts and documents can help keep your year organized and less stressful. Log in to your online account today to get started!
This blog is up to date as of December 2019 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.
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