I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Aflac. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
October 1st, 2013 marked the official start of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and the beginning of the very first open enrollment season since the new health care law took effect. It was also the deadline by which employers should notify their employees of changes to their benefits coverage. If you are using a health care plan sponsored through your or your spouse's employer, are you fully aware of how the health care reform may affect your insurance policy? Did you review and reevaluate your coverage options during the open enrollment period?
Every year when the open enrollment begins, my husband and I will go over all the plan options offered by his employer together, comparing across plans for pros and cons, and then select the one that best fits our family's need. As everyone in our family is generally in good health, we tend to choose a PPO plan with the lowest out of pocket maximum so that we can be prepared for major illnesses in need of intensive medical care. Other factors we consider include annual deductible per family, copay per visit, emergency room coverage and prescription drug benefits. Earlier this year, my husband's company held a special informational session detailing all the insurance coverage changes that would result from the reform. I was definitely surprised to know that 69 percent of the respondents had yet to receive any communication from their employers regarding such changes two months prior to the new law going into effect, according to the 2013 Open Enrollment Survey conducted by Aflac, U.S. leading provider of supplemental insurance.
The most surprising, or rather disturbing, finding from the survey is 7 out of 10 American workers admit that they only sometimes or rarely understand changes to their insurance policy each year while 90 percent don't switch plans at all. This means that many families may not be using a health plan that benefits them most. The survey found that 54 percent of workers waste up to $750 per year due to mistakes made during open enrollment. If any of these situations applies to you, it's time to take open enrollment more seriously and get the best out of it.
Aflac provides some excellent open enrollment resources through their website. They are especially useful for businesses who try to close the communication gap and help their employees reduce health care expenses in the new health care era. Aflac also has some great tips for workers to help them stay informed about their coverage. One tip I identify strong with is that don't choose plans solely based on the premium costs. The plan with the least premium could cost you a lot more where you need coverage most.
We don't currently have any supplemental insurance, which may cover health care expenses currently not included in our primary insurance. If you're looking for added financial security offered by supplemental insurance, you should definitely consider Aflac. Their plans are affordable, have multiple options tailored to different needs, and they even cover preventative care!