This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm®. All views expressed are entirely my own.
With the busy holiday season inching closer, you may not realize the 2017 health insurance marketplace open enrollment period begins Nov. 1, 2016, and runs through Jan. 31, 2017. This is a great time to take a break from holiday preparations and give yourself a financial checkup. Today I want to share a few key areas you should evaluate to help create a solid financial foundation.
Revisit your finances
If you haven’t looked at your finances recently, now would be the best time to do so. You can start by revisiting your budget and setting a savings goal. If you find that your bottom line is less than what you need each month, then figure out what can be cut to lower your expenses.
Several years ago we became a one-income household which forced us to drastically cut back on our spending. We were able to stay afloat by refinancing our mortgage, meal planning, and getting rid of unnecessary memberships. Perhaps you’re not facing a financial crisis, but you have plans to buy a home or make another large purchase. By organizing your finances and creating a savings plan, you could potentially reach your financial goals faster.
If you’re not sure how to set a budget, I encourage you to check out this budget worksheet to help you get started. I also suggest reading the article 3 Steps Toward Financial Wellness – for more tips.
Analyze your health coverage
The marketplace open enrollment period is the best time to reevaluate your health insurance coverage. Health insurance policies and subsidies are constantly changing. Perhaps your health situation is different this year and you need to update your current coverage. Look at your current health plan and options to determine if it’s the best coverage for your family’s needs. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when reviewing your health coverage:
- Do I need to add or remove a family member?
- Can I save money by changing to a different health insurance plan?
- Is my preferred doctor in the plan’s network?
- Do I qualify for a health insurance premium subsidy?
Remember that if you have a qualifying life event — lose health insurance, have a baby, or get married — you can make changes outside of the marketplace open enrollment period. I suggest reading the article 5 Critical Times to Review Your Insurance – for additional information.
Reevaluate your insurance needs
Similar to health insurance, you will need to determine if you have the best overall insurance protection for your family. Do you need to make updates to your life policies? Do you need disability or long-term care insurance? This year my husband and I decided to get disability insurance since we’re both self-employed. We simply can’t risk going without this coverage because of our unique income situation.
If it’s a bit overwhelming, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact a State Farm agent to discuss your needs.
- Life Insurance: 4 Things You Need to Know
- The Benefits of Disability Insurance
- Planning for Long-Term Care
This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm.