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Important insurance options to consider during open enrollment

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As the annual open enrollment period for employee benefits rolls around again, millions of workers in California and around the country are looking at their insurance and other benefit options and making their 2015 selections. While health insurance choices often take up most of our focus, it's essential not to overlook other employer-provided benefits that can help insure the financial future for you and your family. We'll look at a couple here.

If you have an employer that offers long-term care insurance at a group discount, consider yourself fortunate. Compare the rates available through your employer with the rate you would pay if you purchase a policy on your own.

Single women in particular fare better with a group LTC insurance policy. That's because in most cases, employer-sponsored LTC policies have to offer men and women the same rates.

Another type of employer-provided insurance that too many people fail to take advantage of is disability insurance. These policies typically pay up to 60 percent of your pretax income if you suffer an injury or illness that leaves you unable to work. Look at what percentage your employer will pay if you get this insurance as well as what the monthly cap is. If that's not enough to cover your and your family's bills, not to mention added medical bills, find out if you can purchase extra coverage during open enrollment. By paying a little extra money every year, you can help prevent your family from unnecessary financial distress if you are no longer able to work for a time.

These are just two of many valuable employer-provided benefits that help save you money in the long run. More importantly, they can help employees and their families get the care they need and avoid financial ruin if an illness or disability hits.

Of course, policies are only worthwhile if the insurance company pays customers' claims. When you need to file a claim for disability insurance or LTC insurance, it may be worthwhile to get the assistance of a disability law firm. They can help ensure that the forms are completed correctly and in a manner that will give you the best chance of getting the money you deserve in a timely fashion. This can also help prevent a lengthy and perhaps costly appeals process later.

Source: MSN Money, "8 Benefits to Consider During Open Enrollment" Kimberly Lankford, Nov. 07, 2014

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