Making savvy choices at open enrollment can save you money in the long run

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For some employees, open enrollment may not mean much. However, that can be a very expensive misunderstanding.

For one, insurance coverage isn’t easy to understand and making sure you have enough can prove to be an even more an expensive task. It’s even harder if you’ve had a major life event such as marriage or birth of a child.

You may think your traditional medical plan will be enough to cover you if you get a serious illness or have a non-work-related accident, but studies have shown that isn’t the case. According to the Kaiser Foundation, medical debt is the number one source of bankruptcy filings in the U.S. Just over the past year, 42 percent of people took on a second job to help cover their medical bills.

But, there are steps you can take to close the gaps in your traditional medical insurance coverage. One key step to take is ensuring you have supplemental coverage.

Having added coverage such as Accident Insurance, Critical Illness or Short-Term Disability can offset the cost of a high-deductible health plan — ensuring your pockets are protected.

Here are some real-life scenarios that may lead you to have out-of-pocket expenses: 

1.) While repainting your living room, you miss one of the rungs on the ladder, fall and roll your ankle. While your medical insurance may cover the emergency room visit and x-rays, it may not cover the boot you will need to wear for the next six weeks.  

The out-of-pocket costs can range from $100 to $320 or more. With Accident coverage, you can receive a cash lump-sum that can be used for your deductible or medical bills.

2.) One day you’re feeling fine, the next day you’re a bit tired. You feel a lump under your armpit. After a trip to your doctor, and a mammogram the diagnosis is cancer. Yes, your medical coverage may cover visits to your primary care doctor, but now you must see a specialist, who is two hours away by car.

Not only will you have to pay for care but also transportation costs. If you’re covered under a Critical Illness plan, you get money that you can use for anything from gas to groceries, utilities to mortgage payments – and more.

3.) The kids have fully flown the nest and the house is quiet. You thought you were ok with it, but something isn’t right, and you can’t figure out what it is. Activities you once enjoyed you don’t want to participate it, you don’t want to see your friends and your work is slipping. These are all signs of depression and, if for some reason you need to leave your job, you may lose your income.  

Short-Term Disability coverage will cover between 40 and 60 percent of your income so you don’t lose out on lost wages.

These examples show how bills can pile up due to unforeseen circumstances. However, each has a solution using Wellfleet Workplace offerings. Insurance is hard, we make it easier.

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