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5 End-of-the-Year Health Insurance Tips

Can you believe it’s already the middle of November? Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take a few minutes to think about your healthcare.

Here are five things to think about before this year ends. If you’re not careful, you may be leaving money on the table!

1. Bundle Medical Care into a Single Benefit Year

If you’ve already met your deductible for this plan year, now’s a great time to schedule any routine doctor appointments or elective medical procedures. If you wait until January, your deductible will start over again which means you’ll have to pay all over.

When you have medical procedures and expenses in a single year, you can save money since you only have to meet your deductible once.

2.  Reconcile Your Medical Bills

Have you or someone in your family had a large procedure or a long hospital stay this year? If you’ve already met your maximum out-of-pocket expenses for the year, you don’t owe any more! Check your Explanation of Benefits against your bills to make sure you’re not being charged more than you owe.

3. Choose Your Plan Carefully During Open Enrollment

You’re probably hearing a lot about open enrollment. When you choose a plan, make sure you pick one that’s right for you.

Sometimes, if you don’t actively enroll, you’ll be automatically placed into the same programs as used last year. Just be aware and make sure you’re all set for 2013.

Know you’re going to need a large procedure next year? High deductible plans are great for reducing your premiums, but if you’re sick, you pay first. If you know you’re going to have large medical expenses next year, you may want to steer clear of a high deductible plan.

4. Don’t Throw Away FSA Dollars!

Funds that you put into a flexible spending account (FSA) are a use-it-or-lose it deal. You either spend them, or lose them. Nobody wants to throw money away, especially in this economy!

If you have FSA money left, consider:

  1. Bandages

  2. Sunscreen

  3. Contact lenses

  4. Glasses

  5. Over-the-counter medications (may need a prescription)

  6. Smoking cessation products

  7. Flu shot

  8. First-aid kit

  9. Eye drops

  10. Pregnancy Tests

These are just a few ideas for using up your FSA. As always, check your policy for eligible expenses.

Some plans will allow you to use FSA dollars through Dec. 31, others give you until March 15. Check to make sure you know your deadline.

5. Take Advantage of Preventive & Wellness Screenings

Make sure you’ve taken advantage of any covered preventive or wellness screenings before your plan year runs out. Oftentimes, your plan will allow for a dental cleaning or eye exam, for example.

With these 5 tips, we hope we’ve helped you get the most out of your health insurance this year.

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photo credit: {-Maria-} via photopin cc

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