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.
END-OF-YEAR 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:
- Prostate cancer
- Lung cancer
- Schedule elective surgeries like:
- Joint replacement
- Weight loss
- 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
As a couple 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!