The Houston Employment Law Blog - Find Houston Employment Lawyers

Open Enrollment: Time to Change Plans?

For those of you with employer sponsored health care insurance, open enrollment season is coming up.

During this time, employees have the option to make changes to their benefits. Or even to enroll in benefits for the first time.

So if you're unhappy with your current benefits package or if you want change, now's the time.

During the course of the year, employees are allowed to change their benefits if they have a major life change (think new kid, marriage, etc).

But typically, other changes must wait for open enrollment.

Here are a few things to consider, according to Your Houston News, when deciding whether to change your health care plans:

Check to see that your local health care providers are covered. Not all plans cover the doctors you want. In fact, coverage under your current plan can change considerably over the course of the year. It's wise to take this time to make sure that your health care provider of choice falls within your insurer's coverage.

Compare premiums. Look at premiums and deductibles. Compare these to your current financial situation. Are you willing to pay higher premiums to have a lower deductible? This may be wise if you're anticipating a major surgery or procedure over the coming year.

Check the names. Make sure that your family members are all covered under the plan.

Use your Flexible Spending Account. If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account, you can put away pre-tax dollars to pay for health care expenses that might not necessarily be covered. Check with your employer to see if you are entitled to an FSA.

Time is of the essence. Once open enrollment is done, you might have to wait a whole year to make changes to your health plan.

Related Resources: