End of the Year Health Insurance Tips

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The end of the year is a fun-filled time with family and loved ones as you gather for the various celebrations. It is also a great time to review your health insurance to make sure you are not missing an opportunity to save money. Here are some suggestions on things to consider before January 1, 2019, arrives.

Review Preventative Services.

Be sure to get your annual physical and for women your mammograms. If you have a vision and dental insurance get your eye exam and teeth cleaning. If you have or are close to it, schedule a visit to a primary care doctor for those tests, you’ve been putting off. If your goal is to get pain-free in the new year, schedule an appointment with an interventional pain management specialist or laser spine surgeon.

Spread out Non-Emergency Procedures

If you need a non-emergency procedure and are not close to hitting your deductible, wait until next year. The reason for doing it this way is you could meet your deductible within the first few months of the year, then have the rest of your medical expenses paid for by your insurance.

If you’ve reached your deductible for the year already, get an estimate for the cost of any procedures you need done and see if it makes sense to do it now. You may still have an out of pocket max to reach until all your expenses are covered. Also, even if you’ve reached your out of pocket max, it doesn’t mean all medical costs are included. Be sure to check your policy first.

Yearly Deductible Met and Procedure is Covered

If you’ve reached your out of pocket max for the year and the procedure or expense is covered, get it done before the end of the year. Tell your doctor about your situation and ask if there is any needed follow-up care that can be booked and billed before the end of the year. Book your procedures asap because many people wait until the end of the year for last-minute procedures. If you are not able to confirm a booking, ask to be put on the cancellation list.

Do you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

If you have an FSA (Flexible Spending Account), the money you have in there goes away if you don’t use it by the end of the year in most cases, so now is the time to use it. If you have money in your FSA account and don’t have any expected medical expenses, here are a few ideas; refill prescriptions, hearing tests, dental work, an extra pair of glasses or contacts, or possibly an alternative treatment like chiropractic or acupuncture.

What if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

Unlike the FSA, Health Savings Account dollars roll over from one year to the next. There is no pressure to spend it by the end of December. If you are young and in good health, some financial advisors suggest putting any leftover HSA funds in a tax-free investment like mutual funds to increase its value.

Good health and more money top the list of New Year’s resolutions. Get a start on both by using your end-of-year health insurance dollars wisely. If you are a client of Caton Hosey and need help determining what you need to do to get the max benefit out of your health insurance, please call us, and an agent will help you.


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