As the weath­er turns cool­er and shop­ping cen­ters get busier, it’s easy to sur­mise that it’s near­ing the end of the year. Are we all ready for 2020 to be over?! Yes, please! Since we are clos­ing in on 2021, it’s time for you to max­i­mize your health­care plan by tak­ing advan­tage of end-of-year health­care benefits.

 

HAVE YOU MET YOUR DEDUCTIBLE YET?

Before you con­tin­ue read­ing, look over your insur­ance plan details and check your deductible amount. Then, check with your HR advi­sor and see where you are with your ben­e­fits per their records and the insur­ance com­pa­ny records to ensure you have all the infor­ma­tion you need regard­ing these details. Now that you have all your ducks in a row, let’s look at some ways to make sure you are max­i­miz­ing your health­care ben­e­fits before year-end.

 

THINGS TO DO LIST

  • Refill prescriptions—maybe get 90-day sup­plies so they last beyond the start of the new year
  • Sched­ule lab work
  • Sched­ule imaging
  • Vis­it the dermatologist
  • Vis­it the optometrist—get new glass­es or con­tact lenses
  • Sched­ule pre­ven­tive screen­ings like: 
    • Endoscopy
    • Colonoscopy
    • Prostate can­cer
    • Lung can­cer
  • Sched­ule elec­tive surg­eries like: 
    • Hys­terec­to­my
    • Gall­blad­der
    • Joint replace­ment
    • Weight loss
    • Thy­roid
    • Eye
    • Back
  • Go to phys­i­cal ther­a­py for an injury
  • Vis­it your PCP for pre­ven­tive care
  • Vis­it the dentist

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Before you go whole-hog on sched­ul­ing these appoint­ments, you need to con­sid­er some things first.

  • Think about the addi­tion­al costs asso­ci­at­ed with pro­ce­dures like phys­i­cal ther­a­py post-surgery. You should cal­cu­late the cost of hav­ing the surgery this cal­en­dar year and start­ing PT after the new year begins and your deductible resets ver­sus doing every­thing next year.
  • Many den­tal plans have year­ly max­i­mums so it may be bet­ter to split up some den­tal pro­ce­dures between this year and next.
  • Make sure you stay in your net­work when you sched­ule these appoint­ments or else your insur­ance cov­er­age won’t be as robust as you thought.
  • Use your FSA mon­ey before the end of the year because these funds are “use it or lose it.” 
    • The IRS does give you a grace peri­od of 2 ½ months to spend your money.

 

BONUS TIPS

As a cou­ple of bonus tips:

  • Check your plan’s terms about coin­sur­ance so you know if this will come into play even after meet­ing your deductible.
  • Increase your HSA con­tri­bu­tions to max out your account before the end of the year. The IRS, again, gives you some extra time in the fol­low­ing year to keep con­tribut­ing to the pri­or year’s account. But, not max­ing out your con­tri­bu­tion amount means that you aren’t reap­ing the ben­e­fits of this tax-free money.

Mak­ing sure you are ful­ly uti­liz­ing your health­care plan at the end of the year is a smart move for every health­care con­sumer. Begin cross­ing things off this “To-Do List” today!