Greenwood | Open-Enrollment Is A Key Part Of Financial Planning: What You Should Know
Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP®
If you’ve received an email from your employer about open enrollment, do not ignore it! Set aside time to make this a priority. Open enrollment only comes around once a year, so it’s not something you want to push off until later. For anyone who is unfamiliar with open enrollment, it’s an annual window where you can sign up for employee benefits, change them, or cancel them altogether. Some of the benefits you may get to opt in or out of include health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and legal services.
This period is important because these employee benefits have financial advantages that can aid you on your path to building wealth. That said, open enrollment is a good time to reevaluate existing benefits or access new benefits you didn’t previously have.
Types Of Benefits Offered By Employers
Employers offer a range of benefits but they vary between companies. Some employers will fully cover the cost of these benefits, some will share the cost with employees, and others may have employees cover them through their paycheck.
A few common benefits include:
Disability insurance: Ensures you still receive a percentage of your wages if you become disabled or are unable to work.
Health savings account (HSA): An account you can use to save money for healthcare costs. Sometimes employers will contribute to the account and you can contribute pre-tax dollars, too. Any money not used or earmarked on healthcare may be invested in the stock market.
Legal benefits: Provides access to legal aid at a discounted price. In some cases it may be fully covered by your employer.
Group life insurance: Provides money to loved ones or beneficiaries you list should you pass away while employed at your job.
Other common employee benefits include:
General Healthcare benefits: medical, vision, and dental
Flexible savings account
Financial planning resources
Professional development stipends
Healthy lifestyle incentives (E.g. gym memberships)
Mental health resources (E.g. access to therapist or counselor)