Time is scarce during the holidays. With your calendar filling up with family time, office parties, shopping trips, and Santa visits, it can be easy to let December slip by without addressing some of your aches and pains. But it might be worth your time to review your current benefits and save some money by taking care of things now. Here are some ideas and tips for using medical benefits before the year ends.
Get Treated Before Your Deductible Resets
If your benefits calendar coincides with the calendar year, now’s the time to take a look at it. You may have already met your annual deductible. If you’ve used your insurance this year, you’ve at least made some good progress toward meeting the minimum out-of-pocket expense before your insurance really kicks in. These benefits are yours, bought and paid for. So using them before they recycle could save you some serious money.
So let’s say you have to brace yourself to stand or you suffer back pain when you wake up in the morning. If you put off having a doctor examine you until next year, you could end up paying the full amount for that exam. If you get your visit in before the end of December, your insurance could likely cover a significant portion of that amount.
Use Up Your Existing FSA Contributions
Using your benefits before the year ends includes checking into your Flexible Spending Account. You may have an FSA through your employer, where you may have elected to have some of your pre-tax earnings put aside for medical expenses. FSA’s are an excellent way to set aside some cash for additional expenses, but if you don’t use all of your contributions by the end of the year, you could lose them.
Your FSA balance is a great way to shore up some loose ends in your health management, including getting some of your lingering issues taken care of. You can also use those benefits to pay for labs, tests, treatments, and prescriptions that may become necessary after you have your issue addressed.
Now is the Time
Even with a busy schedule, now is the time to get your medical needs taken care of before the new year hits and your benefits reset. Check with your insurance provider to see what benefits you’ve used and what may still be available to you before the January 1 deadline.