Ten things to do during annual benefits enrollment

By Erin Long | Emory Report | Oct. 31, 2019

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Annual benefits enrollment for Emory is open until Monday, Nov. 11. Learn more at the annual enrollment website.

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Emory’s annual benefits enrollment opened on Monday, Oct. 28, giving faculty and staff the opportunity to review their benefits and make changes for the upcoming year.

During the annual enrollment period (Oct. 28-Nov. 11), you should take a look at what benefits you currently have and consider whether you need to make some adjustments. Our needs change as we age, so our benefits may need to change as well.

Here is a list of ten things to do during this year’s annual enrollment:

1. Attend a benefits session. Hear directly from benefits staff as they give an overview of benefits programs and review the changes for 2020. There are in-person sessions as well as a webinar. Dates and times are posted on the annual enrollment webpage.

2. Set aside money for your Flexible Spending Account. Paying for your medical or child care costs with pre-tax dollars saves you money because you pay less in taxes. You can contribute from $200 to $2,700 to a Health Care FSA and up to $5,000 to a Dependent Day Care FSA. Your FSA selections do not automatically roll over each year; the IRS requires that you decide how much to set aside annually.

3. Review your costs. Spend some time looking at what you spent on health care costs this year. Aetna’s Plan Selection and Cost Estimator tool can help you take a look at your claims data from the last 12 months.

4. Increase your life insurance. During annual enrollment, you can increase your supplemental life insurance by up to $20,000 and your spouse’s by $10,000 without providing Evidence of Insurability (EOI). It’s quick and easy and provides more financial protection for you and your family.

5. Consider adding Short Term Disability coverage. While Emory automatically provides coverage for Long Term Disability, there is a 180-day elimination period before you can receive funds. Short Term Disability (STD), with very affordable rates, provides a benefit equal to 60 percent of your base salary which begins after the waiting period you choose and lasts up to 180 days. You can select from waiting periods of 15, 21, 30 or 60 days. If you are not currently enrolled in STD, consider adding it (note: STD is available to staff and post-docs only).

6. Increase your retirement contribution. If you’re like most Americans, you’re not saving enough for your retirement. Although you can make changes to your retirement contributions at any time throughout the year, annual enrollment is a good time, too. Emory also offers free retirement counseling from all three of our retirement vendors if you need to do a quick check-up to see if you’re on track.

7. Make sure your address is up to date. Don’t miss out on important mailings like benefits information or your W-2 statement. In Self-Service, you can check your address, phone number and other personal information to make sure everything is correct. You can also check and make edits to your information as it appears in the Emory Directory, like making sure you have a business phone listed.

8. Check your beneficiaries. While completing your enrollment in Self-Service, it only takes a few minutes to check and make sure you have the right people listed as your beneficiaries on your life insurance.

9. Complete healthy activities to receive your incentives for 2019. You have until Nov. 15 to complete most of your 2019 incentives. These can help you save on medical costs. Incentives not used this year will roll over.

10. Actively enroll. Log on to Self-Service/PeopleSoft and get started. Don’t wait too long — Emory’s annual enrollment period will close on Monday, Nov. 11. Any changes you make and any new plan rates will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

These are just a few things you can do during the annual enrollment period. There are also many other benefit programs to review as well.

For more information about your benefits options for 2020 and how to enroll, visit the annual enrollment webpage.