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Open enrollment...open questions

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POSTED: Friday, October 14, 2011 - 5:22pm

UPDATED: Friday, October 14, 2011 - 9:27pm

It’s that time of year in many businesses around the country.
Open enrollment for company benefits usually takes place in the fall, but this annual event is a lot more complicated this year.
A recent survey by the AFLAC insurance people says, we aren’t doing out homework when it comes to company benefits.
And now, Uncle Sam has thrown in a few curves.
It’s an annual ritual.
You get the enrollment forms from the HR Department and sit down to try to figure out what kind of health coverage you want, how much to put into your 401K, whether to opt for life inisurance or disability and so on.
It’s confusing and the AFLAC survey shows not only don’t workers devote enough time to figure it out, many employers don’t explain it all well enough.
Tyler insurance professional Robert Hahn says the new health care reform law will mean a very confusing marketplace with some good things and some not so good.
But there are some new wrinkles that offer small businesses and employees a break.
“There’s one plan out there called healthy Texas and if a business has never had group insurance, they can get group insurance now, guarenteed issue,” he told KETK. “And if they have any employees that make under $32,000 a year, they can get that subsidized.”
AFLAC also offers some tips.
• If you have a high deductible health plan and are offered a health savings account (HSA), put in as much pre-tax as you can,
• Fund your healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) carefully. If you don't use it in 2012 you lose it.
• Do you have kids 13 or under? Fund a dependent care flexible spending account. The maximum contribution is $5,000 (per family). Think of it like summer camp at a discount.
The AFLAC survey also showed that 47% of those who left a job might not have if they’d had a better understanding of their benefits.
 

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