If your employees don’t understand their employer-sponsored benefits, it can be hard for them to grasp the true value. Health insurance, in particular, can be difficult to navigate — especially during open enrollment. Employees deserve to get the most out of the benefits that HR works hard to provide, which is why they may find it helpful to consult a financial coach during open enrollment season.
A financial coach is essentially a guide who helps individuals clarify and create an action plan to reach their financial goals. Someone can also work with a financial coach to break down barriers to having financial conversations or to simply validate their financial decisions.
But can a financial coach really help during open enrollment season? Short answer: yes, absolutely.
Let’s take a look at just a few ways a financial coach can support your employees as they navigate benefits enrollment.
1. Creating a spending plan
While many employers pay a large portion of the costs associated with employee healthcare plans, employees still have to pay premiums and deductibles. How much someone can afford to spend on monthly premiums can impact which plan they choose during open enrollment season. That means a budget refresh can be very helpful before employees enroll in a plan for the upcoming year.
A financial coach can help your employees evaluate their income and ongoing expenses and create a fresh spending plan that helps them meet their goals. They can make room for the healthcare plan they want to purchase in that budget, or they can evaluate plans they can afford based on how much they have left over to spend on health insurance.
2. Understanding coverage options
Let’s be honest: healthcare benefits basically come with their own language. Deductibles? Premiums? Out-of-pocket maximums? Co-insurance? It’s easy to get lost in all the jargon. If employees need help interpreting what the different coverage options are, they can work with a financial coach to better understand terms like deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Then they can make an informed decision about the coverage they need for themselves and their family. A financial coach can also help them determine how much it will cost to insure any dependents they want coverage for.
3. Setting up an FSA or HSA
Both flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are great ways to put money away for future medical expenses while saving on taxes. A financial coach can help your employees determine whether an FSA or HSA is the right fit for them and figure out if they’re eligible for company matches, how contributions will fit into their budget, and how to maximize their tax savings.
4. Determining other insurance needs
Open enrollment is also a great time to think about other insurance needs, like life insurance and disability insurance. Employees can work with their coach to determine if employer-sponsored policies (if your company offers this benefit) are right for them or if they should pursue additional coverage. They can also calculate how much coverage they may need to meet their personal and financial goals or weigh the pros and cons of pet insurance.
Financial coaches can make sure your employees actually understand the benefits they’re signing up for and help them use those benefits to their fullest.
Want to learn more about Financial Coaching for your team? Schedule a demo with us and mention this article to receive a free coaching session.