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3 Important Things to Think About During Open Enrollment Season — and Beyond

(BPT) - It's that time of year again - time to assess some important life maintenance duties to prepare for the year ahead, starting with your annual health care benefits review for both you and your family. Whether you have an employer-sponsored plan or individual coverage for medical, dental and vision, the end of one year and the beginning of another is a great time to evaluate your health care options and assess your insurance needs. And while you're at it, it's also the perfect time to set an annual reminder to check a few other life duties off your busy to-do list.

1. Take time to fully take stock

Consider dedicating a day to take stock of your family's health and financial situation, then make a list of any tasks you may need to complete to accommodate these changes. Getting your ideas on paper can be immensely helpful for tackling and prioritizing to-do lists while avoiding feeling overwhelmed.

For starters, as you review your employer's health insurance plans (or Medicare plans, if you're now eligible), it's important to ensure that your current health care plans cover your needs in terms of level of coverage, prescriptions, wellness visits, etc. - all at a cost that's affordable for you and your family.

Next, consider what other crucial life administration tasks can contribute to your overall security and peace of mind. For example, when was the last time you reviewed your homeowners or auto insurance? If you've had changes to your circumstances over the past few years, it's recommended that you review your needs, benefits and costs to make sure your current plans make sense, and that you're sufficiently covered in case of emergencies or unforeseen events.

This is also the perfect time of year to think about estate planning or review whether you have other important documents in place, such as a will. Families and situations change over time, so it's important to be sure your estate plan is up to date.

2. Make time for your eye health

While eye care is critical to your overall well-being, it is often overlooked when considering health insurance coverage. It's important to know that a VSP® Individual Vision Plan can supplement your health care coverage to fill in gaps that may exist in other plans. And best yet, you can purchase a VSP Individual Vision Plan any time - not just during open enrollment season.

VSP plans start as low as $13 per month and can help you save up to $300 per year, while also giving you access to the largest independent eye doctor network. Plans include 30% savings on lens enhancements, like progressives from the VSP network of eye doctors, plus members get access to benefits like 20% savings on additional glasses or sunglasses within 12 months of your last exam.

Because you can enroll in a VSP Individual Vision Plan at any time, you're even covered if you miss the open enrollment period. You can sign up for new vision care coverage 24/7/365, with coverage starting the same day you apply. Find out which vision plan is best for you at

3. Schedule annual appointments and household maintenance

The end of the year is a great time to prioritize vital tasks such as getting your routine health care appointments completed (especially if you haven't utilized your benefits for the year); winterizing your car; and completing (or hiring experts for) household maintenance jobs like gutter cleaning, pest control/inspections, energy audits and routine HVAC servicing.

Many also put reminders on their calendars for this time of year to tackle annual or semi-annual tasks such as swapping out batteries in household smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The colder weather and the holiday season also provide a great excuse to clean out your closets, then donate old clothes and other items in good condition to local charities.

By taking care of these essential matters on a regular annual schedule, you can rest assured that your household tasks and health care plans are in place as the new year gets underway.

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