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Your Money Weekend

Financial Planner

October 06, 2000|LIZ PULLIAM WESTON

Checklist: Review Your Benefits

Things to do this weekend with your money

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It's open enrollment season for employee benefits--which means if you work for a company that offers benefits, it's time to review your coverage and perhaps make a few changes.

Today: To avoid losing benefits, make sure you know when your company's open enrollment period begins and ends, and mark the dates on your calendar. While your employer will extend most benefits, such as health insurance, others such as tax saver plans require annual sign ups.

Saturday: Health insurance costs are on the rise, and many companies will be making changes to their coverage. Carefully review what's offered. If you're married to someone with benefits or covered under domestic partner benefits, see if you can save money by coordinating your coverage with your significant other. For more information on health-care coverage, read Silver Lake Publishing's "Hassle-Free Health Coverage: How to Buy the Right Medical Insurance Cheaply and Effectively."

Sunday: Plan to use your company's tax saver account (also known as flexible spending or 125[c] plans) to put aside pretax money to pay child-care costs or medical expenses not covered by insurance. Someone in the 28% federal and 8% state tax brackets, for example, could save nearly $1,700 by putting the maximum $5,000 into a tax saver account for child care. This benefit comes with a price: Any money not used by year-end is forfeited.

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