Why You Should Pay Attention During Open Enrollment At Your Company

Many companies will be starting open enrollment for 2017 benefits over the next weeks and months. If you are thinking of having a child, you have a child in childcare, or you are just curious about how your company supports working families, taking a look at the available benefits to employees during open enrollment will give you a lot of answers, even if you choose not to participate in your company’s benefits program.

You may think, I don’t need to make changes to my health insurance, so I don’t need to pay too much attention to open enrollment. However, you can use this time to explore any benefits provided to working families that you may not be aware of, or taking advantage of, like adoption assistance.

For example, are you enrolled in short-term disability insurance? Do you have to pay for this or does your company cover you? Either way, short-term disability insurance is one of the most common ways women can continue to receive income during maternity leave. If you in family planning mode, its definitely worth making sure you are covered!

Many companies offer additional benefits to working families, such as child care assistance programs that allow you to pay for childcare with pre-tax funds through a flex account. These are usually called Dependent Care Assistance Programs, but sometimes even standard Flexible Spending Accounts will help with childcare, and certainly children’s medical costs, so take advantage now.

We encourage you to use open enrollment to make sure you and your family are covered by the medical insurance you need, but also by any short-term disability insurance, life insurance, and flexible spending accounts that will help you down the road. And even if you know you won’t use these benefits in the next year, use this time period to ask questions and get the answers on how your company plans to support your family choices throughout your career. For more information on specific company policies, use www.listyourleave.com to search a company or add a review of yours so everyone can get smarter on balancing work and family.