Welcome! Login | Register

Subscribe Now: Free Daily EBlast

 
 

Smart Benefits: With Open Enrollment Looming, it Can Pay to Plan Early

Monday, October 03, 2016

 

This year’s open enrollment for 2017 health coverage will soon be underway, with the state and federal exchanges’ periods starting November 1 and most employers holding open enrollment in November as well. With just a month to go, now is a good time to review money-saving best practices when it comes to selecting coverage.

Don’t auto-renew. There’s a good chance participants could save a bit of money by considering new options rather than sticking to the same plan. According to an HHS analysis released in August, last year, more than 40% of returning HealthCare.gov customers switched plans, saving an average of $42 a month.

Shop around. Even if plans offered are the same as last year, review all the options during open enrollment since benefits change often. Compare the plans side by side for benefits, participating providers, and costs to make an informed decision about what program is best for your needs. 

Review health needs. While no one can predict what’s will happen in the coming year, open enrollment is a good time to review past utilization and consider any known changes that may impact coverage needs in 2017, such as new prescription drugs, upcoming surgeries, a pregnancy and so on.

Consider all costs. When it comes to health insurance, costs mean more than just premiums. Be sure to look at other factors that will impact your out-of-pocket spending as well, including co pays and deductibles.

Look into consumer driven health plans. If an employer offers employees the option of contributing to an HSA or FSA, think about whether you’ll benefit by setting aside money tax free to cover qualified out-of-pocket costs in 2017.

Rob Calise is the Managing Director, Employee Benefits. of Cornerstone|Gencorp, where he helps clients control the costs of employee benefits by focusing on consumer driven strategies and on how to best utilize the tax savings tools the government provides. Rob serves as Chairman of the Board of United Benefit Advisors, and is a board member of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI Broker Advisory Board, United HealthCare of New England Broker Advisory Board and Rhode Island Business Healthcare Advisors Council. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), American Health Insurance Association (AHIA) and the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), as well as various human resource associations. Rob is a graduate of Bryant University with a BS in Finance.

 

Related Slideshow: The Power List - Health and Education, 2016

Prev Next

Inside Man

Russell Carey - A name few outside of Brown’s campus know, but Carey is the power source at the Providence Ivy League institution. 

Today, his title is Executive Vice President and he has had almost every title at Brown short of President. Carey is a 1991 graduate of Brown and has never left College Hill.

While Brown’s President Christine Paxson — who is functionally invisible in Rhode Island — is managing alumni affairs and fundraising, Carey is influencing almost everything in Rhode Island.

Prev Next

Top Raimondo Appointment

Nicole Alexander-Scott - MD, MPH, and rock star in the making. As Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, she is fast developing a reputation as someone in the Raimondo Administration who can get things done. Her counsel and leadership on developing a strategy on opioid addiction has been widely been lauded.

In addition, she has handled the mundane - from beach closings to food recalls - with competency. An expert in infectious disease, it may be time for her to become a strong leader on Zika.

Prev Next

The CEO

Ronald Machtley - Bryant University's President rightfully deserves to be on a lot of lists, but what few understand is that Machtley’s influence extends far beyond Bryant’s campus in Smithfield. Machtley could make this list as a business leader or as a political force as much as for education.

Machtley is recognized for transforming Bryant University from a financially struggling regional college to a university with a national reputation for business.

Machtley serves on Amica’s Board and the Rhode Island Foundation, and also serves on the Board of Fantex Brands.

Prev Next

Power Broker

Larry Purtill - While Bob Walsh gets the face time as the Executive Director in the media for the NEA of Rhode Island, NEARI President Purtill tends to be the inside man who gets things done.

The teachers' largest union is formidable, but is still reeling from the beat down it took when Gina Raimondo’s pension reform cut the benefits of teachers disproportionately over other employee groups. 

Make no mistake about it - not much happens in education in Rhode Island without Purtill's sign-off.

Prev Next

Visionary

Mim Runey - While Rhode Islanders wait, and wait some more, for development on the 195 land, Johnson and Wale's University's Runey is watching it come to fruition, as JWU is set to open the first completed building on the former Interstate on September 1, when it will host a ribbon cutting for its John J. Bowen Center for Science and Innovation. 

Under Runey, JWU continues to establish its foothold as one of the country's top schools for culinary training. Now Runey will oversee the addition of the new building on the old 195 which will house the university's School of Engineering and Design and its biology program. 

In 2015, students from the School of Engineering & Design participated in the construction of the Holocaust Memorial on South Main Street, a collaboration between the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Holocaust Education Resource Center of Rhode Island.

A true community partner in every sense, JWU under Runey's watchful eye is expanding to an even greater presence in Providence. 

Prev Next

Chairman of the Board

Edwin J. Santos - The former banker is Chairman of the Board of CharterCare, after having been a top executive at Citizens Bank. He has been a board leader for Crossroads, Washington Trust, Rocky Hill School -- you name it and Santos has helped to lead it.

His best work to date just might be at CharterCare, where he has helped the once fledgling hospital (Roger Williams Medical Center) into a growing hospital system.

Prev Next

Lion Tamer

Weber Shill - He serves as the Chief Executive Officer of University Orthopedics, or in other words, dozens and dozens of oh-so-confident docs.

Shill has a background in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from the Whitemore School at the University of New Hampshire. Experienced in managing medical groups, but this group is big and influential.

Prev Next

Boss

Timothy Babineau - President and CEO of Lifespan, Rhode Island's biggest healthcare organization, where financial challenges make the job that much more complicated.

Now, the critics (GoLocalProv included) are raising concerns about the multi- billion dollar organization's refusal to make any contribution to the City of Providence. Lifespan is like General Motors, big and hard to innovate the organization.  

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email
 
:!