A new survey shows that 41 percent of employees find their Open Enrollment experience “extremely confusing.” In the event you’re also a tad overwhelmed about the benefits options facing you this Open Enrollment season, we want to provide some clarity.
If your employer offers a Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), or Commuter benefits, you might be wondering: How do these benefits work and how can they help me?
Often called Consumer-Directed Benefits or CDBs, these benefits were designed to give you more control over your hard-earned dollars and help you save money on everyday out-of-pocket expenses such as healthcare, dependent care, and commuting.
CDBs help individuals, like you, in five important ways:
1. Help you save money: One of the biggest advantages of enrolling in CDBs, such as HSAs or FSAs, is that you can save money. CDBs allow you to set aside money from your paycheck before taxes are taken out to pay for certain expenses, such as day care expenses, copayments or prescriptions. By using pre-tax funds to pay for every day costs, you reduce your taxable income, allowing you to take home more of your hard-earned dollars.
2. Keep you as healthy as possible: Your employer cares about your well-being and wants you to be as healthy as you can be. A Healthcare FSA and HSA allow you to have money set aside for dental and vision preventative and routine care to help you stay on top of your health needs.
3. Keep you happy at work: The 2016 Aflac Workforces Report showed that while salary is important to employees, benefits matter a great deal too. Forty-two percent of employees said that improving their benefits package is one thing their employers could do to retain them. If your employer offers CDBs, consider yourself lucky! Pre-tax benefits are a perk you should take advantage of.
4. Help you meet your financial goals: According to the Aflac report, “manage my finances better” was the most popular New Year’s resolution for this year, falling just behind “eat healthier” and “exercise more frequently.” Along the same lines, the study found that more than half of employees (60 percent) said one of their top financial concerns is growing out-of-pocket medical expenses. CDBs are a great way to better manage out-of-pocket costs for healthcare, dental care, vision care and more.
5. Help you take better care of your loved ones: If you pay for daycare, preschool, before- or after- school programs or summer day camp so that you can work, a Dependent Care FSA can make those expenses more affordable. Plus, a Healthcare FSA and an HSA can be used to pay for eligible healthcare expenses not just for you, but for your children and spouse, as well.
Are you ready to save? Sign up for Consumer-Directed Benefits during your Open Enrollment period. Contact the person or organization managing your benefits enrollment today.