2015 Employee Benefits

The hot hazy days of summer are fading away. The kids have gone back to school and you’re about to get the 2015 enrollment package from your employer. Yes, it most certainly is that time of year; you have to pick options for next year’s health care plans, savings plans (401k, 403b etc.) and other optional choices.

There will, no doubt, be some changes, everything will cost more and the options available to you will be confusing, boring and mind numbing. It’s no wonder that many people just “pick what they had last year” and move on to something else. With that being said, you should stand out from the crowd and take the time to understand what your options are, how they impact your life and then carefully select those best suited for your situation.

Since you are already in the mode to “plan” for next year’s benefit selections, it is a fantastic time to start or review an existing financial plan. Your company might be introducing a High Deductible Health Care Plan with a Heath Savings Account (HSA) available, there could be changes to your employer saving plans, maybe you want or should be enrolled in the long term disability plan, they might even offer discounted or free financial planning services as part of their benefits.

Studies have shown that when employees have financial stress in their lives they are less productive, less engaged, have more missed work and have higher rates of illness. Trust me when I say this … all employers want you as productive as possible. Picking employee benefits that best suits your situation may not eliminate all of the financial stresses in your life, but it can reduce the stress caused by selecting the wrong set of options.

Some areas to think about when picking your plan include:

  • Health care plan – coverage, deductible, premium and total out of pocket limit
  • Savings plans – 401k, 403b, health savings accounts and any potential employer matching dollars
  • Insurances – life, disability (short and long term) and additional discounts available for homeowners or auto coverage

It’s a great time to engage your financial planning professional (that’s me in case you’re wondering), to help you understand the options and how they fit into your overall financial plan.