It’s that wonderful time of year. No, not the holidays. It’s the window for health insurance enrollment, an even more stressful time with potentially life and death implications if you screw it up. Aflac asked 5,000 employees about their intentions, finding 92% are keeping the same selections from last year and more than 80% spend less than an hour making such critical decisions.
There is a lot to consider. “You’re trying to look at the total cost: the premium is just one piece of the total cost. You also need to look at what kind of co-pays you may be asked to pay, and you have to look at the deductibles,” says Elena Marks, President and CEO of Episcopal Health Foundation. And you’re going to have to live with your choices for the next year. When the window closes, save for a significant life event, the door slams shut. “You’re likely out of luck unless you have a very good reason for having missed that window, and that’s the same whether you’re in an employer plan or Healthcare.gov,” she tells NewsRadio KTRH. It’s necessary to keep people from gaming the system, but it contributes to plenty of stress.
The Aflac survey found more than half of employees figure they’re wasting $750 dollars on year on unwise choices. Six percent would rather hold a screaming baby than have to process open enrollment for health insurance.