It’s that time of year again… Time for benefits open enrollment…
I was just looking through our options, and it appears that we’ll be sitting tight with our current options this year. The biggest change is that we’ll be paying 14.5% more for health insurance this year (and so will my employer). The good news is that our dental coverage will cost the same, and my group life insurance is going down slightly.
The only thing that we actually have to do is to set up our flexible spending account (which has to be done every year). In 2007, we set aside $1,200 and have essentially maxed that out. In truth, we’re well beyond this amount, but I’ve been lazy about submitting receipts. I haven’t yet decided how much to set aside for 2008. Since we’re not expecting any overly-large expenditures in terms of health care (no more braces until at least 2009), I’ll probably opt for the same amount this year.
Sounds very familiar. Just posted on this topic this morning. We considered dropping the employer plan and doing a private policy to keep the premium down. In the end, the dollars just didn’t add up enough to make sense, so we’ll be staying where we are.
One of the best things about Flexible Spending Accounts (besides the tax advantages) is that it’s basically an interest free loan; you can claim your full years amount at the beginning of the year I typically get my eye exams and a year’s supply of disposable contacts in January each year. I can get reimbursed about five days after I fax in my receipts to our company
On the other side of the “forfeit” coin…if you claim your FSA money early in the year and quit your job, your company cannot claim the balance “owed” from your final paycheck…it’s basically free money. So if you’re planning to quit in January, but need that Lasik, then claim as much as you need during Open Enrollement, get your surgery in January, claim and get your FSA reimbursement, and then quit!
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