December 7, 2012 Posted by: Liann Walborsky
As you run around finishing holiday shopping and buying gifts for everyone from the babysitter to your cousin Millie, take a moment to focus on yourself and make some doctors’ appointments. The end of the year can be a great time to use your flexible spending account, and to do things like dental cleanings and general health maintenance (blood work, mole removal, etc.). Why? Well, health insurance companies tend to work on the calendar year which means that most people have met their deductibles by December.
Whatever you decide to do in the next few weeks, should cost you less than it will in January when everything resets itself for the new year. December can even be a good time to have a surgical procedure — like a knee replacement that you may have been delaying for a while. You may end up paying less out of pocket, and, you’ll have those extra holiday days to recover.
In terms of your flexible spending account (FSA) — you generally have a limited time frame in which to use the pre-tax dollars you have set aside. It’s perfect for such items as eyeglasses, contact lenses and prescriptions. See if your insurance company will allow you to receive a 90-day prescription rather than the typical 30-day — this is a great way to use those FSA dollars. We plan to pay for our daughter’s 2013 orthodontia treatment with our FSA by the end of December 2012.
Of course, just because you have met your deductibles, does not mean that there will be zero cost for your procedures. Before you plan your doctor visits or health care purchases, double check with your insurance company to find our exactly where you stand. Don’t create more expenses just for the heck of it. There are plenty of costs at this time of year. Hopefully, based on your insurance eligibility, you’ll have the opportunity to take care of your own health needs in addition to worrying about everyone else.
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