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Preparing for open enrollment

It's almost that time of year when you can opt-in for for benefits through the Affordable Health Care Act or for group benefits through your workplace. This includes making changes to your health insurance, life, or disability insurances. Here are some pointers to keep in mind as you make those changes.

Health insurance

If through Covered California or the Affordable Care Act changes are available Oct. 15, 2018, to Jan. 15, 2019. If you decide not to make any changes, keep yourself informed as changes may be forced upon you by the insurance company. When selecting coverage, you may have a few different plan options. If you're healthy and generally don't need medical attention throughout the year, consider getting a high-deductible plan. This will save you on premiums and you’ll likely be allowed to contribute to the health savings account (HSA). Contributions to this account are tax deductible and distributions are tax-free if used on medical expenses.

Life insurance

Generally, your workplace will offer life insurance as a benefit, partially paid by your employer. You can determine how much life insurance that you need based on the amount of debt that you have; that's generally the minimum amount of life insurance that you should have if you have dependents. Be sure to opt for the regular life insurance and not AD&D, or accidental death and dismemberment, as this insurance rarely pays out. If your dependant relies on your income, consider getting a lot of coverage that can replace your income in case something happens to you.

Disability insurance

Generally, this is the most important insurance that you could get. Most companies offer this insurance which often pays 60% of your regular salary until age 65. It pays in case of injury or sickness and if you were not be able to work. If your company offers a buy-up option so that you could have a higher benefit, generally it's recommended that you take it. Insuring your ability to earn an income over your working years is absolutely critical. Note that group benefits are taxable so the amount that you expect to receive could be less than described.

At Eureka Wealth Management, I help my clients analyze and select their workplace benefits. I’m also a Covered California Agent and can compare your options in the health marketplace. Call for a free initial consultation at (760) 537-0791 or online at

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