Five ways to ensure a productive visit with a benefits consultant
For employees who want to have a productive visit with a benefits consultant, being prepared is the most important thing they can do. With some preparation, you can focus on the information you need from the consultant, clear up any questions or confusion you're facing, and feel more prepared for the future.
1. Understand Your Coverage
Understanding your major medical, dental and vision coverage (your “core benefits”), is the first step toward a good benefits consultant visit. When you understand your core benefits, you can consider any gaps in your plan that might need to be filled in with supplemental insurance. Then you can come to the visit with any questions you have. Medical coverage and deductibles can be confusing, so check with your consultant about how to identify the right coverage for you.
How to create benefits checklist so you can feel more prepared
2. Write Down Last Year's Medical Needs
When you write down your medical visits or prescription drugs you needed or used last year, you can consider whether those will impact your benefits this year. Based on what you used in the past, you may want to make some changes and adjustments to the benefits you're receiving. For example, if you don't understand whether your vision insurance covers a recently diagnosed eye condition, it's essential to find that out before or during your benefits appointment.
3. Consider Changes in Your Life
Be ready to talk about life changes. The kinds of changes that you experienced in your life in the previous year could impact changes for this year. If there’s been a handful of changes in your life, you don't want to assume that your benefits will stay as is. In other words, if you had a baby, got married or made a significant investment or financial move, you may need additional coverage options.
4. Know Your Goals
Get ready for the future by considering your short- and long-term goals. What you want to do in life can impact what you do with your benefits. For example, you may want to start up a side business, buy a home if you're currently renting or start saving for retirement. Making sure you're protected and managing your money and risk levels is important.
5. Bring All the Items You Need
Make sure you have what you need for your benefits appointment. That typically includes your driver's license and bank account information but may also include some specifics about your family. If you have unique situations, such as a spouse that's not a U.S. citizen, a child that's adopted, or anything else that makes your situation unique, bring appropriate documentation for your situation. It's better to be overprepared rather than missing required documentation during your visit. Documents you should always keep up to date
The right benefits package matters, but so does the peace of mind that comes with knowing the benefits you have are the right ones for your needs, goals, plans, and dreams, both now and in the future.
Seven questions and answers to know before open enrollment
This blog is up to date as of April 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.