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Four Steps to Make the Most of Open Enrollment

We’re headed into one of the busiest times of the year. Between buying the Thanksgiving turkey and shopping for holiday gifts, you’ll find selecting your employee benefits on your to-do list. It might be tempting to let your benefits plan from last year roll over into 2019. However, experts advise against the set-it-and-forever-forget-it model. Open enrollment is your golden opportunity to sign up for your 2019 benefits. Take time to review your current benefits plan and ensure you’re taking full advantage of what’s offered. Here are four steps to help you make the most of open enrollment. Step One: Outline Your Needs Consider a ringed approach to outlining the expenses you’ll incur during 2019. In the center, place expenses you know you’ll have. For example, do you live with a chronic condition, like diabetes? Include the cost of your insulin, test strips and other supplies for the year in this…

How to Plan for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

Every year, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) or Open Enrollment kicks off Oct. 15 and closes Dec. 7. Whether you are newly eligible for Medicare or already in a plan, you’ll want to consider several items in preparation for the enrollment period. We outline steps to help ensure you get the most out of your planning. Already Enrolled in Medicare? The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is an important time for you. Before the AEP starts, it’s always good to review your current needs and anticipate what you might need in the coming year. Perhaps you now need prescription drug coverage. If your current coverage is not providing everything you need, you can now modify your plans for next year. Or conversely, maybe you obtained services this year that are no longer of value. The AEP provides an opportunity to drop or switch plans. Furthermore, Medicare health and drug plans could…

Understanding Healthcare Costs in Retirement

What to expect to spend on health care in retirement is the big question for future retirees. The reality is there is no simple answer. By understanding estimates of Medicare premiums and other related expenses, as well as some of the ways costs can be reduced, you can start to put some of the pieces of the health care puzzle together. Unpacking Average Healthcare Cost Estimates Several different estimates related to what people can expect to spend on healthcare costs in retirement are out there. One of the most commonly quoted figures is $280,000 from a Fidelity study. Equally staggering is the fact that Fidelity found this number represents a 75 percent increase since they first did a study of retirement health care costs in 2002. The $280,000 figure is based on an average 65-year-old couple. Women can expect to spend $147,000 and men can expect $133,000 on health care…

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