Open Enrollment Deadlines

November 6, 2009

Open enrollment deadlines are one date you don’t want to miss.  Choosing the best insurance options and benefits at your job is an important part of your personal finances.

Open Enrollment Window

October and November are the time when many companies have open enrollment, a time period during which you can make changes to your benefits for the coming year.  Open enrollment is often the only time during the year you can make changes to your health insurance and flexible spending plans unless you have a qualifying change in status during the year such as a marriage or new baby.

In many cases if you do nothing during the open enrollment period, your insurance coverage and benefits will remain the same as previous year, one common exception are flexible spending plans. Due to federal laws, if you want to continue your health care or dependent day care flex spending contribution, you have to re-enroll each year.

Benefit Changes

Typically when you go through the enrollment process you’ll elect or decline coverage for benefits such as medical, dental, flexible spending accounts, dependent day care, and vision. Take care to add and update your dependent and beneficiary information so that your family members have sufficient coverage.

Open Enrollment Deadlines

Most companies are pretty strict about enforcing their open enrollment deadlines.  Any changes you try and make after the deadline passes will typically be denied.  You can always work with your human resources department to get an exception but it’s much easier to take the time and finish your open enrollment before it becomes a huge hassle or is too late. So stop procrastinating and enroll now if you haven’t already!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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