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Consumers Overlooking Opportunities at Open Enrollment May be Missing Out
Date:9/15/2009

n more helpful to today's consumer, with easy-to-understand tips on everything from how to navigate health benefits after a layoff to how to make the most of benefits in today's economy. It even includes a tear-out page with "Ten Money-Saving Tips."

"Making health benefits choices during Open Enrollment can be confusing, especially as people cope with the current economic situation. However, consumers who do a little homework up front are in a better position to choose a plan that will help them stay fit and healthy, manage any chronic health conditions that may impact their family, and even save money in the long run," said Wendy Richards, M.D., co-author of Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies, a family physician and National Medical Director for Aetna. "Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies is a great resource to help consumers understand their options so they can make the best decision for their individual situation."

Easy-to-understand health benefits information is crucial in today's tough economy. Yet more insured women ages 24-44 (the main household decision makers) say they are spending less time researching available plans this year than they reported five years ago in a similar survey. In 2004, 30 percent spent less than one hour reviewing the available plans before settling on one. In 2009, this has jumped to half of women. The decisions consumers make about their health benefits at Open Enrollment - typically the only chance for millions of Americans who receive benefits through an employer to make changes to their health benefits plans for the coming year - can have a big impact on their health and finances throughout the year, making smart choices more important than ever.

"People should arguably be spending more time reviewing their options at Open Enrollment this year in light of the uncertain economy," said Tracey Baker, co-author of Navigating Your
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SOURCE Plan for Your Health
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