Signup time

It’s the time of year when employers open up their benefits plans to changes and new enrollments.

To make the most of their benefits dollars, employees should consider carefully their personal circumstances in light of benefits available. This year they should pay special attention to health insurance coverage. The ACA (Obamacare) has required a number of changes in group health plans, which are reflected in offerings during enrollment this year.

A couple of other tips from a financial planning point of view:

  • Insurance against accidental death and dismemberment is usually not a good use of benefits dollars. If you die or can’t work due to accidental injury, the needs of your dependents are better met using traditional life and disability insurance coverage. Needs aren’t greater simply because your death or injury is accidental.
  • When considering group life insurance coverage, don’t forget two points: It can be more expensive for young and healthy people than personally owned coverage; and it’s usually not portable, meaning that if you leave the employer, you can’t take it with you.
  • Unless the investments in your 401(k) or SIMPLE plan are particularly poor, you should contribute at least the maximum amount your employer will match.

– John Davis