ARAG Answers Top Four Questions to Ask When Enrolling in Your Benefits

Oct 31, 2013, 13:56 ET from ARAG

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the major focus on healthcare exchanges this year, everyone is paying close attention to the benefit choices they need to make.  ARAG®, a global provider of legal solutions, reminds you to pay close attention to all benefits you have access to since the decision you make during your open enrollment can save you money.


"Good benefits decisions can strengthen your financial safety net," said ARAG Chief Human Resources Officer Erin Barfels. "Do your homework. Consider your personal and family needs for 2014. Have there been changes or do you anticipate life changes? Read all of your open enrollment materials and use your employer's online tools and resources to make your benefit choices."

Additionally, Barfels encourages you to ask yourself the following four questions before you complete the benefits enrollment process this year. Doing so can ensure you are not leaving money on the table.


What changed from last year?

Your employer should review any benefits changes before new plans are instituted. If you haven't received the necessary information, or are having trouble understanding everything that's changed, ask your human resources department for a summary in writing.


Is there a 401(k) match?

When it comes to investing in your retirement, it's hard to find a better option than an employer offering a full or partial match to your own savings. In most programs, your employer will offer to match your contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary. This could be a full or partial match, and could vary depending on the amount of time you've been with the company. All of this can be confusing, so it's important to obtain the policy in writing so you can make fully informed investment decisions.


Do you have access to a legal plan, financial planning resources or any other voluntary benefits?

In order to attract and retain the best employees, many leading companies offer additional types of insurance beyond health insurance. One common type of voluntary benefit is a legal plan. According to "Measuring the Effects of Legal and Financial Woes," a recent study conducted by Russell Research and commissioned by ARAG, three out of four employees experienced a legal event in the past 12 months. Furthermore, employees' legal and financial problems can impact engagement and productivity at work. Enrolling in voluntary benefits such as legal and financial solutions can help you solve these personal problems more efficiently to minimize the impact on your work, as well as increase your physical and financial wellness.


What health care plan makes sense for you?

For families, choosing the right health insurance plan requires a lengthy review process. Therefore, it's helpful for both you and your spouse or domestic partner to understand the plan options and review them together. If possible, evaluate all medical expenses over the past year to see which plan might work best for you. Take into account any upcoming life changes like having a child or new health issues you've developed since you last enrolled in benefits. It pays to examine other fringe benefits of health plans, such as discounts to health clubs or other healthy living incentives. You may also decide it makes more sense for each of you to remain on your respective employer's plans as individuals, so it's important to consider all options.

While it may seem overwhelming to thoroughly review your options, it's important to know what benefits you are entitled to and how they work. And remember, if you get confused, your human resources department is there to answer your questions. There's no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to your benefits, as that question could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

About ARAG:
ARAG ® ( provides affordable legal solutions through trusted service to help people protect what matters most.

ARAG is the world's largest privately owned legal solutions enterprise. The company has an international premium base of nearly $2 billion and protects 15.5 million individuals and their families – worldwide. We are committed to providing our customers a choice of legal solutions to help them live a life full of opportunities.

We demonstrate expertise, integrity and passion in everything we do to serve our customers and make a positive difference in our community. We are proud to sponsor ARAG Free Will Day, providing low and middle income citizens with free access to attorneys for the creation of important legal documents to protect their family, finances and future.

ARAG's North American headquarters are based in Des Moines, Iowa. We've earned the prestigious Center of Excellence Award for six consecutive years (2007-2012) and have been awarded a Top 100 and Top 20 Call Center (2010-2011). ARAG team members voted ARAG a Best Places to Work in Insurance (2009-2012).

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