For many companies, October is what I like to call “benefits season”. You are probably being bombarded with emails from your employer and/or their health care providers reminding you that it’s time to pick your benefits for 2023. I remember from my days working at a large bank the stress of having to sit there and determine what type of healthcare you could possibly need for the coming year.  

Today, I wanted to share a few tips that will hopefully alleviate some of the stress that comes with this decision. To start I encourage you to set aside some time THIS week in order to go through the choices. In addition, you want to read through and gain an understanding of what the different perks are that you are offered as part of your health benefits or wellness package. I have seen companies include perks like gym membership discounts, community activities, or even stipends for wellness purchases. This is a great time to really get familiar with what you are being offered so that you can take advantage of it both this year and next. In addition, by looking at it now if you have any questions, you can reach out to HR, a doctor’s office, or your financial advisory team. 

When trying to decide whether to change your benefits for 2023 I always encourage people to do two things. The first is to look over your medical expenses from last year. Did anything surprising happen? Or did a major life event occur like the birth of a child? What becomes difficult for (honestly almost) everyone is to predict what the next year will look like. The probability of a surprise medical expense varies for everyone. The question to ask yourself is based on the likelihood do you prefer to pay out of pocket or pay more for insurance premiums each year to have the health insurance company pay for those unexpected costs.  

The other side of the coin to consider is do you have any upcoming medical expenses or planned procedures. Some people like to take out premium insurance to get certain procedures done during that year and that revert to a less expensive insurance the following year.  

The key to remember about picking insurance is to make sure you are making the decision that is right for you during this time in your life. Things will change from year to year or even month to month so it’s important to give yourself grace and make the most informed decision you can at this moment.  

Caroline Tanis