Maximize Your Health Benefits with Year-End Planning

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By Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital

The holidays are a busy time but that doesn’t mean your health should take a back seat. As 2023 comes to an end, now is a good time to take advantage of your health plan benefits and save money in the process.

Toward the end of the year, many people have met their health insurance plan deductibles. This means it is possible to have your insurance plan cover a majority, if not all, of your healthcare expenses for services received before January 1, 2024. This makes it a very attractive and practical time to schedule any health and wellness visits and procedures you may be considering.

Be sure to verify your specific coverage limits and limitations before reaching out to your providers.

Remember that a lot of people try to squeeze in visits at the end of the year, so schedule promptly and ensure appointments are completed before your deductible restarts. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also help you improve your well-being.

To maximize your benefits at the end of the year, consider scheduling preventative care checkups and screenings such as mammograms or colonoscopies. Make sure to complete routine lab work and recommended diagnostic testing for non-essential conditions such as iron deficiency or imaging including x-rays or ultrasounds that have been put off. It’s also a good idea to evaluate your vision and dental coverage before conducting an eye exam or teeth cleaning.

If you have hit your insurance deductible, now is the time to explore elective procedures, such as joint replacement or eye surgery, that are more likely to be covered, if deemed medically necessary. Lastly, plan ahead to avoid delays in care by refilling prescriptions for chronic or acute conditions taken regularly.

As of January 1st, health insurance plans and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) undergo a reset as well, making this the opportune time to leverage your insurance coverage and utilize those funds before they lapse.

A FSA is a tax-advantaged financial account that allows individuals to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. Check your FSA balance and familiarize yourself with IRS guidelines on FSA fund usage. Any funds remaining on January 1, 2024, will be forfeited, making it crucial to pay for scheduled services to avoid missing out. Ensure you utilize those funds on eligible healthcare expenses and optimize your financial benefits.

The holiday season is hectic but don’t forget to take some time for yourself and your health while saving money in the process.

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