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Would you spend more time choosing a health plan or debating whether “Tiger King” or “Sit Creek” is a better choice for watching binge drinking?

If you spend more time choosing shows, you are not alone.

When the company requires workers to choose from all aspects of medical and dental plans to long-term disability insurance, it will begin accepting public registration for 2021 benefits in November. Voya Financial quoted the research results of Businessolver and Reelgood/Learndipity as saying that although these decisions are major decisions, it turns out that employees usually only spend 17 minutes making choices, and they spend less time choosing Netflix shows.

Experts say that given the background of the coronavirus pandemic, workers this year need to take measures. Matthew Owenby, chief human resources officer of insurance company Aflac, said that people are a product of habit, which means that nine out of ten workers usually choose the same options as the previous year.

“I have been working in human resources throughout my career, and hope I can tell you why they want to autopilot,” Irwinby said. “Our main takeaway is that workers must stop thinking that past work will help them move forward.”

Is COVID-19 covered?

In view of the continuing pandemic, these problems have been greatly eased. More than 8 million people have been infected in the United States and more than 225,000 people have died. In a recent survey, about one-third of workers told Aflac that if they were affected by COVID-19, they would not feel confident or uncertain whether their benefits would protect them or their families.

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“People are worried about getting sick, or they know someone who is sick, and they are thinking:’If I have to go to the hospital or get an examination, can I afford the medical expenses?”, Senior Vice President of Employee Benefit Operations and Claims at Voya Financial .

There are signs that workers are getting information, and Voya found in a recent survey that slightly more than half of employees intend to change their benefits this year. Unless there are major changes in your life, such as getting married or having children, public enrollment is usually the only opportunity to change your welfare.

The following are suggestions from experts on how to navigate open admissions in November this year:

Be wary of open registration dates

Your employer will usually remind you in advance of its open registration period. Zielke pointed out that although the company does not require the length of time for public recruitment, the registration period is usually three to four weeks.

In contrast, the “Affordable Care Act” open enrollment from November 1 to December 15th, the bill provides medical insurance plans for people without employer funding.

But employers usually provide smaller open admission windows. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the deadline so that you do not miss the window.

First look at your employer’s options in 2021

Zielke said: “You don’t want to delay.” “As soon as the registration is open, I will start to check the materials so that you can understand the services provided by your employer.”

Starting early will give you time to understand the financial impact of different plans and options. If your employer provides calculators or other cost tools, use them to check different situations.

For example, choosing a high deductible insurance plan may help reduce monthly costs, but if a worker or family member is hospitalized due to COVID or other health setbacks, this may cause financial losses.

In that case, opening a health savings account (HSA) may be an option, because for people with a high deduction plan, HSA is a tax incentive tool that allows them to save on medical expenses.

Check your medical expenses in 2020

Experts say, please double-check your spending over the past year to understand whether your model and other plans are more suitable for your needs.

“Do your homework and see how much you spent last year. Did you choose a cheaper plan that only provides insurance for doctors in the network, but do you spend more to see doctors outside the network?” Owenby said. “If so, choosing a slightly higher cost plan that allows you to visit doctors outside the network may make more financial sense.”

Don’t ignore supplementary benefits

Experts say that even with health and dental insurance, there may be gaps in coverage.

This is why more employers provide supplementary benefits, such as disability and life insurance. According to Aflac, about one-third of employers currently provide supplementary insurance.

Owenby said: “If you are worried about the gap in insurance coverage, please consider supplementary insurance, which covers expenses that health insurance does not have.” “Supplementary plans such as critical illness, hospital compensation, accident and short-term disability insurance can pay cash. Benefits, you can use them as you like.”

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