Most consumers pay significant premiums for their health insurance, but not everyone takes full advantage of the benefits of insurance coverage, especially once the annual deductible has been reached.
Using your health plan benefits for medical visits, screenings and procedures is the best way to support your overall health. And, as the current plan year comes to an end, right now may be the best time to address any outstanding medical needs, by taking advantage of paid-up deductibles or funds available in your flexible spending account (FSA).
Most health insurance plans have a deductible requirement—a predetermined amount of healthcare expense that you must cover out of your own pocket before the plan begins paying the majority of (if not all) remaining expenses. Procedures such as mammograms and other diagnostic imaging studies, colonoscopies, surgeries like joint replacements and hernia repairs, vision care, and physical therapy may cost you less if your deductible has been reached.
Review your plan to see how close you are to meeting your deductible, or if you’ve already met it, because once the threshold is met, your plan may cover the expense for most additional health care services received before year end. On January 1, you’ll be starting over at zero towards your deductible.
“Everyone should access the medical care and services that keep you healthy by using all of the benefits in your plan,” said Stephen Pennington, EGRMC CEO. “And, since many people have met their deductible by this point in the year, it’s a good time to schedule any recommended procedures or medical visits before the deductible resets. You may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on what healthcare you need, if it’s obtained within this calendar year.”
The end of 2023 also affects individuals who have flexible spending accounts (FSAs) which are pre-tax dollars set aside primarily for health-related expenses. The Internal Revenue Service requires those funds to be spent, or forfeited, by December 31.
“Money in your flexible spending account is yours to use for medical expenses through December 31, but no later,” said Pennington. “Work to schedule your appointments so there is enough time to have the test or elective procedure done before the end of the year. Getting everything squared-away by early December means the services you receive are considered part of your 2023 coverage.”
Health plans can vary in many ways, so learn how your plan works to get the most from your benefits.
Go to https://www.eastgeorgiamedsurgassociates.com/doctors-providers to make an appointment with one of our many primary care providers today.
*East Georgia Regional Medical Center is owned in part by physicians.