Sometimes, I wish there were a manual for being a grown-up. It would work like this: each year on your birthday, a letter would show up detailing all of the things you will need to take care of that year (taxes, auto renewals, insurance). It would give you specific instructions on how to accomplish everything on the list without running into any snags.
I guess if that were the case, we wouldn't have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes? And that's something I know all about!
The year that we were expecting Addie, our health insurance situation changed four times. Before that, I had no understanding of our health benefits or options, because we had always just made a quick choice and selected the plan that seemed the best. Once we were hit with so many changes in such a short time - while incurring medical bills since I was pregnant - I learned that it was important to actually put some time into figuring out which opens were best for us.
Was it a walk in the park making a health insurance coverage decision while being full-term in my pregnancy and also chasing a toddler around all day? Not necessarily - but it was worth it.
|Our little family - right around the time of open enrollment in 2012!|
We haven't had an insurance change in almost two years now, but I try to review our options before open enrollment comes around each year, to ensure that we are still making the best choice.
When we chose our health insurance plan through Andrew's employer, we were also given the opportunity to purchase dental insurance for our family. At first, I scoffed at getting a family dental plan - because our kids were so young, would they really need the coverage? I spent some time researching the options and found that it was not a great cost to have the additional benefit added. It turned out to be a very good thing that I had read it thoroughly, because we ended up absolutely needing that coverage for Addie's teeth earlier this year.
|This baby gave me no indication that just over a year later, she would need oral surgery.|
For close to six decades, Aflac has been committed to providing insurance policies that give policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Worrying about insurance coverage should not be something to add on to a medical emergency - or even a routine procedure!
Aflac conducted an Open Enrollment survey this year and found that 41 percent of employees spent fifteen minutes or less researching their benefit options during the 2013 open enrollment season. I'm sure we can all think of another big purchase that we would never dedicate as little decision-making time to - like a car, a computer, or even a vacation. Most workers also have no idea what is covered by their insurance plan - I have been guilty of that multiple times. You can read more about the open enrollment survey in this year's Aflac WorkForces Report.
We've made a family decision to be on top of our insurance this year and have already started talking about our options - with open enrollment just around the corner, it's definitely not too early to start a discussion and review what your policy covers! When you're reviewing health insurance options, make sure that you take the time to look up things you don't understand - I was so confused when I first tried to wrap my head around deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, coinsurance, and other similar terms. It took me awhile, but I think I understand it now - and that makes for far less stress!
Have you ever made a poor choice at open enrollment that you regretted throughout the year? Take the time to be prepared this year - and you can consider this note from me your "grown-up manual" entry of the day.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.