Open Enrollment at Work: 5 Easy Steps to the Best Benefits for You

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

It's tempting to simply hit the "renew" button on company insurance and other benefits. But it's worth the time and money to go through these steps.

Did you get the memo yet?

It’s open enrollment season!

Yes, I know 23 percent of you would rather clean your toilet than research your benefits options (Aflac told me so), but don’t let your love of porcelain get in the way of saving cash. Because that’s what open enrollment is all about: saving you cash.

And I’m not just talking about saving cash on monthly premiums. I mean saving you cash on all of your out-of-pocket expenses throughout the year and saving cash at tax time because you have the right amount deposited into your flexible spending account.

Unfortunately, too many people are mindlessly checking boxes on their open enrollment form and paying the price down the road. “People are not spending enough time selecting the right benefits,” Matthew Owenby, chief human resources officer at Aflac, told me. “People look at monthly expenses without looking at overall costs.”

How can you make sure you’re not acting like one of the fools in the office? It’s easy. Follow these five steps:

Step 1: Attend the benefits open house

Many, although not all, workplaces have some sort of event to kick off open enrollment. They may call it a benefits fair, an open house, a seminar or a workshop. Whatever it’s called, you want to be there.

Depending on your company, your human resources office will be on hand and possibly representatives from the insurance companies offering benefits. This is your opportunity to get real-life answers to your pressing questions. Questions such as: Does Dr. Fabulous participate in your network? What does this high-deductible thing mean? Are you going to gouge me on co-pays?

Of course, you can get answers to these questions later if you miss your company event. This is just an easier way than sitting on hold for 30 minutes for a phone representative to answer your call. Plus, there may be cookies. You do want cookies, right?

Step 2: Ask about wellness incentives

Happy, healthy workers are more productive and less expensive, so your company has a vested interested in keeping you feeling your best. To do so, many offer wellness incentives that may lower your premiums or provide other perks.

Incentive programs can vary, and some are as simple as getting your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked in exchange for a premium rebate. Others may require additional effort, such as entering smoking cessation or weight management programs.

You want to ask your human resources office about wellness incentives upfront for two reasons. First, some businesses offer health screenings on a particular day, and you don’t want to miss your chance to attend. Second, if you qualify for a premium incentive, you want to know that before you select your coverage because it might mean you can afford a more expensive plan with better coverage.

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,898 more deals!