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The Possible Hidden Bonuses of the 2020 Open Enrollment Period

The Possible Hidden Bonuses of the 2020 Open Enrollment Period

September 20, 2019

Chances are you might have heard that open enrollment is upon us; from November 1st through December 15th, you have the option of changing your benefits.

Again, you might already know that. But do you really know what that means?

Many times, people will sign up for benefits when they start a new job and then they don’t think about it again until something truly life-changing happens. But the truth is, you should take a look at your benefits every year to make sure you’re getting everything that’s offered to you.

I’m particularly passionate about looking at my clients’ benefit packages because I know that benefits can account for almost 50% above an employee’s wage (Source). You read that right: FIFTY PERCENT. This means that if you’re making $20 per hour, your benefits could bring the value of your wage up to $30 per hour because your employer is paying for them on your behalf.

So, not looking at what’s available could be like leaving money on the table.

It’s Not Just About Healthcare

While the words “open enrollment” make most people think of their healthcare plans, it really means more than that. Other options might include:

  • Dental
  • Health Savings Account
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Aflac Options

More importantly, healthcare has changed so much in recent years that most people aren’t really sure what they’ve signed up for – and I don’t blame them. As Kiplinger said in their article What You Should Know About Open Enrollment…

When your employer rolls out its menu of health insurance benefits this fall, don’t be surprised if you have more options than you did last year. As companies try to cater to workers’ diverse needs, they’re dishing out a broader selection of plans.

This means that, while you might have more options, choosing the right package could be more complicated.

Here’s what you should know

By taking advantage of the discounted coverages the employer may offer, (simpler underwriting for insurance plans due to group coverage) this allows many people to participate in a benefit they typically wouldn’t have available to them. In the Bakersfield, CA area, larger companies have strong benefit packages with unique nuances and details. The Charpentier Wealth Strategies team has become well-versed in those details, so we can give clients an overview of the benefits package, advise them on which benefits they could participate in, and possibly save them money while protecting their families.

Keep in mind that most benefit offerings change annually, so while it’s tempting to let this fall off your to-do list, it could benefit your bottom line (and your family’s protection) to know your options.

The Charpentier Wealth Strategies team is available to answer your questions and look at what’s available to you. We’ll serve as your interpreter and advisor to assist you in selecting the benefits best suited for you.

Here’s what to do next:

  • Make an appointment by contacting us at (661) 322-5204 or email me at
  • Gather the following information (for you and your beneficiaries):
    • Social Security numbers
    • Addresses
    • Dates of birth
    • Your pay stub
    • Prior year’s tax returns
  • Congratulate yourself on knocking this off your to-do list!

Debbie Charpentier has been serving clients since 1989 by using a holistic, comprehensive approach that helps clients create the life they value and the legacy they envision. Charpentier Wealth Strategies is a Bakersfield, CA Financial Planning practice that offers fee-based financial planning services. To contact Debbie, email CRN2789121-102219