Open enrollment starts November 1 and runs through December 15th. Below, are considerations during open enrollment season.
1. Health Insurance
The most common consideration during open enrollment – it’s important to consider if your current health insurance plan is optimal for you and your family. Have your health needs changed? Do you visit the doctor frequently? Is your plan affordable? You’ll need to consider these questions when evaluating plans.
For a tax advantaged way to pay medical expenses, consider an HSA or FSA. Both accounts allow pretax contributions. Distributions for qualified medical expenses are tax free. The difference? For an FSA, your employer owns the account and funds remaining at the yearend are forfeited. (Your employer may allow up to a $500 rollover, but this isn’t required.) Employers can adopt an FSA, with any health insurance plan. An HSA requires a high deductible health insurance plan. For 2019, you may contribute up to $3,500 for single coverage or up to $7,000 for family coverage. If you’re 55 or older you are may contribute an additional $1,000.) You own your HSA and you retain any unused funds. HSA funds can be invested accounts and can be withdrawn penalty free at age 65! If your health insurance plan qualifies, we can help establish an HSA .
2. Life Insurance
Group life insurance is a common employee benefit. Employers may offer life insurance as an employee benefit or offer the option to purchase additional low cost insurance. These policies are often cheaper than an individual policies but are not portable to your next job. Some policies are convertible toto an individual policy upon leaving employment.. Unsure of your life insurance needs? Windward can help evaluate your needs.
3. Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is another common employee benefit. Like life insurance, employers may provide some disability insurance (often short term) and offer additional insurance for purchase. Disability insurance can be either long term or short-term. Long term disability is designed to provide monthly income until retirement age, after a specified waiting period. Short term disability provides monthly income for a short period of time (less than 1 year). Evaluating disability insurance needs is difficult and requires understanding the relevant tax considerations.
4. Legal Services/Identity Protection
Legal services and/or identity protection may be offered as employee benefits. Often, the employee pays a small monthly amount for access to legal advisors when needed. Estate documents may be prepared using this service. Additionally, identity theft protection may be an employee benefit.
We suggest reviewing your benefits with Human Resources. It’s also wise to confirm your retirement account beneficiaries and verify your employee retirement plan contributions and available matches.
This blog is provided by Windward Private Wealth Management Inc. (“Windward” or the “Firm”) for informational purposes only. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. No portion of this blog is to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell a security or the provision of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Certain information contained in the individual blog posts will be derived from sources that Windward believes to be reliable; however, the Firm does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assumes no liability for any resulting damages.
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