Dude, Where’s my Open Enrollment?
Ahhh… open enrollment.
A joyous time of year, when the leaves start turning colors and falling, there’s a crisp cool in the air, and you get to review 401K match, health insurance, HSA, FSA and other assorted employer benefit cuts and premium increases to select the least worst of what is available to you as your employer reminds you of how lucky you are and how much they are sacrificing for you to only pay 2X the going market rate for health insurance or $0.25 on the dollar up to 4% of your earnings if you stay at the company for another 11 years.
I kid… sort of.
Open enrollment typically is announced at the beginning of October at most places of employment for the following year.
But you’ve probably noticed things are a bit silent on the open enrollment front this year for 2014.
Here’s why: the government shutdown.
Open enrollment usually coincides with announcements around how much you can contribute to your 401K, HSA, HDHP out of pocket maximums, etc., etc – based on cost of living adjustments that coincide with inflation over the previous year. The IRS calculates cost of living increases, makes corresponding changes to retirement, medical, and other tax related accounts and then typically announces these changes at the beginning October. However, since the government was shut down up until October 18, they’ve only been back for a little over a week now and haven’t announced anything yet.
So, your employer’s HR/benefits department is anxiously awaiting behind drafted emails to fill in the blanks.
I would assume that you’ll start to see some announcements on 2014 this coming week and your employer (if they are on their game) will chime in within a few days on their open enrollment.
When they do, carefully review everything. With the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges launching, I would presume that this year will bring more benefit and cost changes to your health insurance offerings than typical.
When it comes to inflation adjustments, the U.S. CPI over the past 12 months has been a tiny 1.5% – so don’t expect much in the way of IRA, 401K, and other adjustments.
I’ll highlight the big changes here, at 20somethingfinance.
Open Enrollment Discussion:
- Do you get excited, fearful, or otherwise about open enrollment? Why?
- Has your employer made any announcements on open enrollment for 2014?
- What kind of changes are you expecting for 2014?