4 Things You Need to Know About Open Enrollment

(StatePoint) Open enrollment season is upon us. Whether you’re choosing benefits for the first time, adding coverage for a new family member or facing a passive enrollment, it’s likely your benefits decisions will look a little different this year.

According to a June 2022 Consumer Sentiment Study by Lincoln Financial Group, 45% of employees expect inflation will impact their benefits decisions this year. In today’s constantly changing economic climate, people are looking for stability and protection — for their family, their finances and their health — with more than 85% of those surveyed indicating they would like to better understand what they can do to protect against the impact of inflation.

“Benefits offered at the workplace can help provide financial stability when it comes to the unexpected,” said James Reid, executive vice president, president of Workplace Solutions at Lincoln Financial Group. “It’s important to take a holistic look at your options and the resources available, and then make the elections that will help protect your today and help secure your tomorrow.”

Lincoln Financial Group offers four tips to keep in mind during open enrollment:

1. Life changes — make sure the benefits you enroll in are changing too. Just like your personal situation can change from year to year, the benefits you enroll in should change with you. Maybe you had a new baby or are thinking about buying a house – now is the time to ensure you are protected for the future and that the benefits you choose make sense for your current situation.

2. Take a complete look at your benefits — including supplemental coverage. Lincoln’s June 2022 Consumer Sentiment Study also showed that Americans’ interest in supplemental coverage offered by an employer has increased over the past year: 89% of consumers reported being interested in Critical Illness insurance, and 86% would be interested in Hospital Indemnity and Accident insurance. Accident insurance can help pay for expenses that aren’t covered by health insurance, like high deductibles. And critical illness insurance provides funds to cover day-to-day expenses while someone is recovering from an illness, including mortgage payments, childcare, food and more. Check to see if these coverages are offered by your employer and if they make sense for you and your family.

3. Education is essential. Choosing the right benefits during open enrollment can be a complicated process — having access to digital enrollment guides and pamphlets can make the process much easier and give you the time needed to fully review and select coverage. Reach out to your employer for information on the coverages and tools they have available; digital calculators can help estimate life insurance and disability coverage needs, and tell you the impact each coverage will have on your paycheck.

4. Focus on financial wellness. To plan for the future, it is important to have an accurate picture of where you are today. A good place to start is with financial wellness tools, which many employers offer their employees. With these tools, you can create a personalized action plan and improve your financial wellbeing, whether that’s a plan to pay down debt or create an emergency savings fund. And for those struggling with competing financial priorities, Lincoln Financial’s debt calculator can help, available at lincolnfinancial.com under Planning.

This open enrollment period, take time to make decisions that will help protect your financial future.

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Photo Credit: (c) JLco - Julia Amaral / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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