Healthcare open enrollment checklist: How to choose the best health insurance plan for you

Key Points

  • Open enrollment offers a once-a-year opportunity to reevaluate your health care plan.
  • Proactive planning and saving strategies can help safeguard your assets from medical expenses.
  • Pre-tax savings accounts can help pay for out-of-pocket expenses while lowering your overall taxes.

You may be able to reduce your health care costs by carefully reviewing your benefit options during open enrollment, when you have a life change or start a new job. Our checklist can help guide you in evaluating your benefit options.

Evaluate plan options

Consider your health needs and estimate the current and future costs of your existing health care conditions. This information will help you evaluate whether a high- or low-deductible plan is better for you based on your budget and medical needs. Ensure plan premiums, deductibles and copayments fit your budget.

Consider dependents

Reassess coverage if you plan to have a baby or if your adult children are turning 26 (After this age, adult children are commonly no longer eligible for coverage under their parents' insurance.) If you're married, it's a good idea to compare your health plan with that of your spouse.

Explore a Health Savings Account (HSA)

Consider opening a pre-tax health savings account (HSA) through your employer for a tax-advantaged way to help offset out-of-pocket medical costs. An HSA, which requires enrollment in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), enables you to use pre-tax money to cover eligible health expenses. HSA funds that aren't spent in the calendar year can be rolled over each year.

Examine a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Think about setting aside funds for health care expenses through a pre-tax flexible spending account (FSA) if you don't have an HDHP. An FSA can be used for the same types of medical expenses as an HSA. Unlike HSAs, only $500 of leftover funds can be rolled over to the next year, and this rollover exception can vary by employer. Additionally, you may lose your FSA dollars if you leave the company. Check with your employer for details on their rules around FSA rollovers. 

* FSA 2020 contribution limits not yet available.

We're here to help

Need some guidance considering your open enrollment and health plan choices? We can help you determine how to balance benefits, supplemental coverage needs and savings options with your overall financial and health planning goals. Open enrollment is also a great time to discuss with us other employer benefits — such as disability coverage, life insurance protection, or 401(k) options.

With these open enrollment tips, you'll have a better understanding of your options and know how to choose the best health insurance possible.

Contact an Ameriprise advisor for guidance on how health insurance fits into your overall financial plan.

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