If you're currently going through open enrollment -- the period of time each year you're permitted to make your health, life, and disability insurance selections through your employer -- you may be faced with more options than ever before. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now in full swing, you should have some options on your state's health insurance exchange (or the federal exchange if your state has opted to waive its own coverage). You may not know enough about each available policy to feel you can make the best decision for your family's healthcare needs. Read on to learn more about some situations in which it may make sense to decline your employer's health insurance offerings, as well as how you may be able to parlay this decision into a modest raise.

When should you decline a policy offered by your employer?

In an effort to cut ever rising health insurance costs, many employers have turned to high deductible health plans (HDHPs) to help offset some of the costs they've previously covered. This can mean that you'll be required to pay all your non-preventive healthcare expenses out of pocket until you've hit your deductible -- which is often in the thousands of dollars. While these plans can be ideal for young or healthy individuals with few sick doctor visits or emergency room exams, for those with chronic conditions or multiple prescriptions, these policies can be pricey.

If you're anticipating some healthcare expenses over the next year -- a planned operation, the birth of a child, or ongoing care for a sick family member -- you may want to investigate the plans offered by your state to see if you can find something with a slightly higher premium cost but a much lower deductible and maximum annual out of pocket cost. This can allow you to get continued coverage for "free" once you've paid enough out of pocket to meet these low limits. 

What are your options once you've declined your employer's health insurance coverage?

In some cases -- particularly if you're with a small or self-insured employer -- the cost savings to your employer when you decline a policy could be enough to give you a slight salary bump. Before your open enrollment period expires, talk to your boss to see whether your company is willing to compensate you for lightening the financial burden of providing you with coverage.

You'll likely need to make some assurances to your employer you no longer wish to purchase health insurance tied to employment or express willingness to accept an annual bonus or stipend rather than a built-in raise. This helps your employer avoid a situation in which you receive a substantial raise and then enroll in your employer's health insurance plan the next year (costing even more money than before), and it may help increase your odds of getting a raise.

For health insurance, consider contacting a company such as W B Adams Co.