Two co-workers sitting next to each other bump fists

Questions to ask during open enrollment 2022

Oct 4, 2022
Empower Insights

Open enrollment is a great time to reconsider your benefit options

Fall is all about football games, pumpkin lattes and cooler temperatures.

But if you’re in the workforce, you know that when the leaves start changing, open enrollment season has also arrived.

This year, some Americans may be paying closer attention to their benefit selections and coverage options because of record inflation.1 Rising costs, which includes everything from increased gas prices to higher grocery bills, are causing plenty of financial concerns for many people. Therefore, it's more important than ever to think beyond just your base salary. Your full benefits package can have significant implications for your financial health as well.

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment gives employees the chance to make changes to their workplace benefits package.2

In most cases, this annual period allows you to modify your healthcare coverage and update your life insurance policy as needed. Unless you experience a qualifying life event, such as having a baby or tying the knot, it’s the one window you have each year to revise your personal elections.3

From a big-picture, financial perspective, it’s also a great opportunity to review your retirement income strategy.  

graphic showing Open enrollment options

So, before completing your open enrollment selections this fall, consider asking yourself a few key questions:

How do I choose the right health insurance?

Before making any health coverage decisions, it’s best to consider your family’s current medical needs.

Take stock: Do you or your dependents have any ongoing health issues? Do you take any certain prescriptions? Do you need to schedule any upcoming procedures or surgeries? You may not be able to anticipate every medical expense you may have in the coming year, but you should take some time to think through any possibilities so you can be prepared.

In addition, you’ll want to weigh everything from premiums and copays to what hospitals and doctors are in network. For example, if your primary physician is out of network, you could end up owing a lot more for annual checkups and other exams. Also, pay attention to your deductible, the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in.4

What are the differences between an HSA and FSA?

At first glance, a health savings account (HSA) and a flexible spending account (FSA) seem similar. They both let you allocate pretax dollars to pay for medical expenses. But these two solutions couldn’t be more different when it comes their features, rules and provisions.

If you have access to both an HSA and an FSA through your employer, it’s important to know how they work and what they offer before deciding how much to contribute to one or both. For example, you can tap into an HSA to cover any qualified health cost you have today — and when you’re retired. On the other hand, you can only use an FSA to pay for current medical expenses as you generally lose any unspent funds at the end of the year.

Keep in mind, too, that you can only enroll in an HSA and contribute to it if you have a qualifying high-deductible health plan.

To learn more about how HSAs and FSAs compare, check out this article for key details

What are my different insurance options?

At the very least, make sure you cover all your bases. Be sure to review everything that is offered and consider signing up for policies that are included at no cost (or low cost) to prepare for any potential hardship you may experience. Preventative screenings, disability services and life insurance policies are important to consider from a financial perspective in the event a misfortune happens.

Is my retirement plan on track?

Even if you’re able to fine-tune your retirement account throughout the year, the open enrollment period is still an excellent time to look into your financial health and your financial future. After all, your nest egg needs checkups, too.

Take a minute to:

Of course, managing your retirement savings isn’t always easy. If you need help along your journey, consider seeking out trustworthy financial advice. Empower research shows that more than 75% of Americans believe using professional guidance is critical to achieving a secure retirement.

What if I miss open enrollment?

You really don’t want to miss your open enrollment period. Unless you have a qualifying event later, it’s typically the only time during the year when you can enroll or make changes to your benefit elections. If you do miss your open enrollment period, reach out to your employer’s human resources department to see if there’s any flexibility or potentially another opportunity to change your coverage.

 

1 PBS.org, “U.S. inflation at 9.1 percent, a record high,” July 2022, pbs.org/newshour/economy/u-s-inflation-at-9-1-percent-a-record-high.

2 CNBC, “Open enrollment season for 2023 employee benefits is getting underway. What to watch for,” September 2022, cnbc.com/2022/09/22/open-enrollment-season-for-2023-employee-benefits-is-getting-underway.html.

3 HealthCare.gov, “Qualifying life event,” healthcare.gov/glossary/qualifying-life-event.

4 MedicineAssistanceTool.org, “5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Health Coverage,” September 2022, medicineassistancetool.org/Health-Insurance-Resources/5-Things-to-Consider-When-Choosing-Health-Coverage.

RO2453956-1022

Latest Empower Insights

A child at a doctors office receiving a hearing aid
Nov 16, 2022
Empower Insights

What does an HSA cover?

A quick guide to the out-of-pocket expenses your health savings account can cover.

Graphic showing a percentage sign inside frame of a house
Nov 15, 2022
Empower Insights

Mortgage rates and the housing market

As if inflation levels weren’t high enough, home buyers are now seeing the highest mortgage rates in more than a decade.

Carefully consider the investment option’s objectives, risks, fees and expenses. Contact Empower for a prospectus, summary prospectus for SEC-registered products or disclosure document for unregistered products, if available, containing this information. Read each carefully before investing.

Securities, when presented, are offered and/or distributed by Empower Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. EFSI is an affiliate of Empower Retirement, LLC; Empower Funds, Inc.; and registered investment adviser, Empower Advisory Group, LLC. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax recommendations or advice.  

IMPORTANT: The projections, or other information generated on the website by the investment analysis tool regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes, are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. The results may vary with each use and over time.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Insurance products are issues by or offered through Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America, Corporate Headquarters: Greenwood Village, CO; or in New York, by Empower Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York, Home Office: New York, NY. 

The managed account service is part of the Empower Advisory Services suite of services offered by Empower Advisory Group, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

The Empower Institute is a research group within Empower.

“EMPOWER” and all associated logos, and product names are trademarks of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America.

All features may not currently be available and are subject to change without notice. ©2022 Empower Retirement, LLC. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted: Not a Deposit | Not FDIC Insured | Not Bank Guaranteed | Funds May Lose Value | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency.