It’s benefits enrollment season! It's important that young professionals can enroll with confidence. As a young professional, are you confident that you can identify the right health care benefits for your lifestyle? Or does the thought of choosing your benefits completely overwhelm you? If the latter is the case, you’re not alone. More than half of young workers will be choosing their health care benefits for the first time this enrollment season, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report First-Time Enrollee Survey.* However, only 19% of the young adults surveyed said they felt confident when it came to selecting health care benefits, and only 31% said they felt prepared.* In fact, a whopping 76% of American workers make decisions about their health care plans without complete knowledge of the overall benefits, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report.** As a result, workers enrolling in benefits plans for the first time may not select the option that best suits their lifestyles. This lack of knowledge often results in hundreds of dollars down the drain. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said they waste up to $750 as a result of mistakes made during open enrollment.** If you want to make sure you get the best coverage possible without spending obscene amounts of money each month, it’s essential that you educate yourself before committing to a benefits plan so you can avoid costly mistakes. With that in mind, here’s an easy checklist to follow so you can enroll with confidence:
Set aside ample time to research.According to the same 2017 Aflac WorkForces report, 83% of people surveyed spent less than an hour researching during their last enrollment process.** What’s worse is that 20% didn't research at all.** Although time is a precious commodity these days, it’s critical to block off time in your calendar so you can do your homework. Make it a priority to dedicate a part of your day to research during this process to ensure you educate yourself on what options are available to you.
Learn the basics.Deductibles, copayments, providers, oh my! It’s hard to comprehend all of the different plans when you don’t know what the terminology means. Before you dive in, take a minute to review some of the common health benefits terms and their definitions so you have a better idea of what you’re reading. If you need more help, you can check out Aflac’s innovative, interactive learning experience called DuckChat through Facebook Messenger, which is new this year. The Aflac Duck will be available 24/7 to offer smart, funny, relatable and easy-to-understand answers to some common benefits enrollment questions.
Talk to an expert.Unfortunately, simply running a quick online search isn’t always enough to answer all of your questions. If you still find yourself confused about what plan is right for you, consider getting professional advice. According to the Aflac report, 74% of employees said there are things they don’t understand about their policies.** If you don’t want to be left in the dark, talking to an expert might be a wise decision. In fact, 48% of employees said they would prefer to speak to an expert about their benefits, either in person or on the phone.** During your research, write down any questions or concerns you might have when choosing your plan, and make an appointment with an expert to gain clarity.
Think about your health care costs.Everyone has different health care needs. Some need more coverage than others. As you are reassessing your benefits plan this enrollment season, ask yourself the following questions:
- What did I spend on health care last year?
- Will my costs be similar to last year?
- What other options do I have this year?