Don’t miss a money-saving opportunity –
The clock is ticking on your health insurance costs and expenses for the year. Have you met your deductible? Have you used up your FSA or HSA? On Jan. 1, many insurance plan deductibles – the amount you’re responsible for paying before your insurance plan picks up the bill – reset to $0. You have just a few weeks left to “use it or lose it.”
If this applies to you, here are four health insurance tips to help you make the most of your healthcare dollars.
Have you met your deductible?
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. Physician Partners of America offers fast appointments at its pain management, laser spine and orthopedic practices.
To get a handle on health insurance costs, it’s also a good idea to refill prescriptions and schedule lab work and imaging before year’s end if insurance is likely to pick up the tab. Of course, it’s important to check your plan, as your coinsurance must also be factored in.
Still have a way to go to meet your deductible?
You should not put off seeing a doctor for serious or nagging conditions; but if you’ve only used up a fraction of your deductible, any major expenses in November and December will likely come out of your pocket. If you have chronic spine pain, here’s good news: You can schedule a second opinion with a Physician Partners of America laser spine surgeon in Texas or Florida, and have the procedure when your deductible resets in January.
Do you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
Flexible Spending Accounts let you set aside tax-free money at the start of each year to pay for certain healthcare expenses. The downside? What you don’t use by Dec. 31, you lose. It’s important to get everything you need now. The list of eligible expenses is long and surprising: it includes prescriptions, imaging, and even travel expenses related to medical treatment for patients and certain caregivers. Pain patients eligible for laser spine procedures by renowned specialists Dr. James St. Louis and Dr. Phillip Kravetz may be able to get reimbursement for airfare, meals and lodging.
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.