At this time of year, we’re all thinking a bit more about turkey recipes or gift lists, than we are about our health insurance. However, the end of the year isn’t just holiday season; it’s also the end of your current health insurance policy year. Your plan will soon renew, and maximum costs will reset to zero.
Did you meet your deductible in 2016? If you have already met your deductible, then you have good reason to pursue as much medical treatment as you need before the end of the year. Don’t put off those important appointments or tests until after the holidays!
What about your annual maximum? Health insurance policies, especially dental plans, often include an annual maximum dollar amount that will be covered. If you need a procedure soon, and, if you wait until the beginning of the year you will use up a sizable chunk of your coverage for the year. If you need a second procedure before 2017 ends, you could be on the hook for a large bill.
What about your flexible spending account (FSA)? If you have a FSA, then you contribute pre-tax dollars from each paycheck to be used toward medical bills. But since your money does not roll over to the next year, you could lose valuable funds if you wait to schedule necessary care. If your FSA balance for the year remains high, don’t wait on medical care.
Think about preventive care. Many health insurance plans offer additional benefits such as free preventive care. But because those benefits could be changed or dropped next year, you might as well use them now.
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