The end of the year is approaching fast and most of us are quickly adding items to our to-do lists. Holiday preparations, work projects, travel, family gatherings and other end-of-year activities can make this a busy time.
But, don't forget to prioritize your health – because this may be the best time of year to catch up on your health care and save a lot of money, too.
Health insurance plans and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) reset on Jan. 1 every year, making the next two months an important time to schedule medical care to take advantage of insurance plan coverage and FSA funds before they expire.
By this time of the year, many of us have met our plan deductible, at which point the health plan may pay for the majority, if not all, of your healthcare expenses for services received before the end of the year. This could mean savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on what healthcare you need.
If you have met the deductible, or if you are close, appointments, testing and procedures scheduled for the end of the year will help you make the most of your benefits. Many people will be scheduling procedures such as mammograms and other diagnostic imaging studies, colonoscopies, surgeries like joint replacements and hernia repairs, vision care and physical therapy. It's crucial to schedule promptly (right now) to be sure your test, check-up or procedure can be completed before the end of the year.
On Jan. 1, your contribution to your deductible resets to zero and you will have to start all over again.
Individuals who have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) also should check their balance to see if any funds remain unused. The Internal Revenue Service requires these accounts, which hold pre-tax dollars set aside to pay for healthcare-related expenses, be depleted by the end of the year or the money is forfeited. This is another reason to schedule services now to be sure those hard-earned dollars are spent, not lost.
Health plans can vary in many ways, so learn how your plan works to get the most from your benefits. To schedule an appointment with a Northwest Physicians primary care provider, visit https://bit.ly/PCP_Online today.