This post is sponsored by Aflac. I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Ok, so let’s talk about health insurance. It’s not exactly the most popular conversation-starter, but it’s such an important topic, and one that many of us avoid.
Choosing Health Insurance: 3 Things to Consider
I’ll come right out and say it, choosing health insurance coverage for yourself and/or your family can be time consuming and confusing. In fact, many millennials freely admit they would rather be doing just about anything else: 26% would rather clean their toilet and 13% would rather have a cavity filled than research benefits!
One of the main deciding factors for millennials when selecting a plan is a lower monthly premium. However, the trade-off for a lower up-front cost is a higher deductible, meaning that you are responsible for more out-of-pocket when you need to use your benefits.
A tough economy means that many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, so High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) are becoming increasingly popular as a way to lower monthly expenses. However, with deductibles running into the thousands for these seemingly “low cost” plans, an emergency or unexpected illness can be devastating financially. The 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report found that “52 percent of American workers have $1,000 or less on hand to pay out-of-pocket medical costs associated with unexpected serious illness or injury.”
I’ve been guilty of rushing through my health insurance enrollment before and choosing the plan that was the most inexpensive up-front or just automatically renewing the same plan as the previous year. When I looked back at my plan details later, I was shocked to see how much I would have been responsible for should I ever have an emergency — it was scary!
The end of the year is the time for open enrollment, and a chance to make sure you’re getting the best possible benefits for yourself and your family. It might not be your favorite activity, but it is worth taking the time to do a little research to protect your financial future.
Related: 5 Simple Tips to Stay Debt Free
Start with AFLAC: their site provides valuable resources to help you understand the process, as well as options for Voluntary Insurance plans such as Accident, Critical Illness, and Hospital. These Voluntary Insurance plans can help fill the gaps left by traditional benefit plans and even provide cash benefits that can be used for groceries, child care, hotel, and parking expenses. Even if your major medical bills are covered by your employer plan, these incidental expenses can add up quickly!
When choosing health insurance, make sure you consider these three things:
- If you had a medical emergency, would you be able to cover your out-of-pocket costs?
- Try to find a balance between a monthly premium you can afford and a deductible that you can pay if needed.
- Do you have the resources to cover incidental expenses that come with an extended hospital stay or time out of work?
Rushing or guessing when choosing health insurance can be costly! If you have questions about Voluntary Insurance or benefit enrollment process in general, visit AFLAC.com so you can find the information you need to make the right choice for you and and your family.
Disclaimer: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Sway Group, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.