This October marks the start of open enrollment. Its is your once-a-year opportunity to make changes to your current benefits plan. But, did you know that its also the best time to save money?
Optimizing your health plan each year is a major part of smart budgeting. Just like planning for your childs college or buying car insurance.
Here are six tips to help you save money during open enrollment:
- Know your deadlines
Whether you decide to make changes to your benefits plan or not, dont let your open enrollment deadlines slip by without action. Doing nothing could end up costing you hundreds in higher premium costs, lower coverage, or missed opportunities to optimize your health care dollars, according to a recent Yahoo! Finance article.
- Read up on all plans offered
Ask for plan materials from your employer. Check out the websites of any health plans that are offered. Comparing all your options can help you determine the best plan for your specific needs.
- Make a list of the benefits you used (and didnt)
When you figure out what parts of your plan you use mostand what you dontyou can spend your health care dollars where you really need to.
- Use online tools
- There are tons of online resources that can help you locate doctors and dentists, connect with nurses, review claims, and learn more about your health care plans. Check out healthpartners.com, medicare.gov, andhealthcare.gov.
- Make sure your doctors and dentists are in-network
- The doctors and dentists in the network of the plan you choose can change from year-to-year, and if your doctor or dentist drops out of the network, you could be spending more by visiting someone outside of the network.
- Consider a Discount Dental Plan
- Not all insurance plans include routine dental care. Discount Dental Plansare an affordable alternative to dental insurance. They act like a discount club for dental care, offering you 10% to 60% savings on most dental work. Some plans even offer bonus benefits on prescriptions, vision, hearing and chiropractic services.
How do you save money during open enrollment? Share your budgeting tips in the comments below.