During the holidays approaching the new year, the last thing most families are thinking about is getting themselves to their annual doctor visits. Family, school, and work obligations keep you from considering important things like health care benefits covered by your insurance.
While insurance concerns probably are not high on your holiday list, you could be wasting money by not determining your insurance usage and acting accordingly before the new year.
Since deductibles reset at the end of each year, consider how close you are to yours since they reset at the end of each year. You have every incentive to take full advantage of all health care needs before the deductible resets if you have met yours already.
If you wait until the beginning of the new year to see your doctors, you will have used up most of your coverage for the new year already. If you need follow-up appointments or a second major procedure, you may liable for expenses.
Besides, putting off necessary care (especially eye care) can be extremely dangerous and put a major damper on your quality of life. It also has a chance of making eventual medical procedures more complicated and expensive (and potentially life-threatening in case of infection).
If your health insurance plan is an FSA (Flexible Spending Account), your account balance is funded with pre-tax dollars to cover your health care costs. The use of pre-tax dollars allows you to save money on your taxes by reducing taxable income.
The downside of an FSA is that you must use the benefits during the year. Benefits do not carry over and you will lose any unused money in the FSA account at the end of the year. Check the restrictions in your FSA to find out what the money can and cannot be used for, and plan your expenses far enough in advance so you are able to get a necessary appointment before year’s end.
If you are caught up on your annual appointments and are reasonably healthy with extra money in your Flex spending, consider stocking up on things like contact lens cases or solution. You can also invest in a new pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses — it could be a fun way to spend your last dollars. If you have a lot of money to burn, you can even apply it to Lasik surgery!
Given the ever-changing essence of health care plans, the benefits you receive in the next year may be different from the ones you received this year. There is no guarantee that vision plans will remain constant from year to year, either.
Failing to be pre-emptive with your vision and health is the same as failing to be pre-emptive with your finances. In short, take care of yourself and use all the health care and vision benefits available to you. If you would like to make an appointment or have any questions on how to use your insurance benefits or FLEX spending at any Eye Associates location, feel free to call us at 1-800-922-1766.