My Insurance Benefits Reset on December 31st, What Should I Do Before Then?

The end of the year might bring out a lively energy in you OR that feeling of exhaustion. As you prepare for the holidays, there is one thing we can all agree on: this time of the year always comes out of nowhere and we never feel fully prepared for it. With that “out of nowhere feeling” also comes a reality check with your health insurance. You’ve met your deductible and/or your out-of-pocket maximums, but it is almost December 31st and those amounts will all start over on you.

If you’ve met your deductible and/or out-of-pocket maximums for the year, your medical costs could be covered and at a lower to no out-of-pocket cost to you. You want to capitalize on that, don’t you? We want you to take full advantage of that, so you don’t let the end of another year pass you by. 

Health insurance is a big topic for you and your family, and we want to help, so here are 4 tips to guide you in getting the most out of your insurance benefits as you hit the end of the year:

1. Schedule any medical visits before December 31st

With your deductible being met, your insurance plan will pay some, or all, of the covered expenses at this point. Now is the time to get in for the routine physical, that dental checkup you have been procrastinating, or physical therapy visit to help with the low back pain you had since June. When you get coupons to go shopping, you should take advantage of it, right? Well now your insurance is giving you coupons for your healthcare and it is time to take advantage of that.

2. Utilize your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

Your FSA and HSA accounts were funded by YOU and is YOUR MONEY, so you wouldn’t want it to go to waste, would you? First, you want to see if your account has a rollover plan or if it is a “use it or lose it” plan each year. If your money rolls over, then it isn’t as big of a deal to spend it now, but if you lose it every December 31st, then it is time to use it! Most FSA and HAS accounts will let you use this money on a variety of medical expenses like your Physical Therapy visit, a foam roll your PT wants you to use for your home exercise program, even cold/hot packs for those nights of muscle swelling and pain. Check what terms your account has and make sure you use your money and don’t let it go to waste.

3. Now is the time to order medical supplies

Your health plan will sometimes cover certain medical supplies that you use. You might have orthotics that you haven’t replaced in a few years or a bed wedge that your MD and PT have suggested for better sleeping positioning; now would be the time to consider ordering these if your insurance plan covers medical supplies. You want to make sure to get them ordered so the process before the end of the year. The longer you wait, the more of a chance a shipping delay will happen or a process issue that could roll it to January and your deductible will have reset. This way, you can get any issues sorted out and still have it hit during your prime benefit time.

4. Get ready for next year

Now is the time to pre-plan your healthcare needs for next year. Having a good plan in place can not only take a lot of stress off your plate but help save your family money. If you can plan your needs for next year, it can save you the struggle of running to get it all done next November. By planning, you can have a better focus on the things you need and can budget yourself to include all your healthcare needs. You might also realize things like needing more or less money in your HSA/FSA account for the year. By sitting down and planning, you can see your expenses for the year. Looking at these past expenses will allow you to determine if you need to increase, decrease, or leave the amount you defer the same to help cover next year’s healthcare needs.

With these tips, we hope to help you better utilize your healthcare benefits and maximize your savings! This is the time of year for joy and smiles and good health gives us both of those things! Don’t forget we offer Complimentary Screens to help with any issues or questions you may be having this holiday season.

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