2014 Year-End Health Tips

2014 is almost gone!  BetterDoctor put together some tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your healthcare plan this year.

1. Plan for your deductible.

If you’ve used most or all of your insurance deductible this year, schedule some appointments before the end of the year.  If you have these appointments next year, they’ll go towards your full deductible amount.  However, if you have not yet met your deductible for this year and you plan on having a lot of healthcare expenses next year, you may want to postpone healthcare expenses for a month so that you can use up next year’s deductible quickly.

2. Use up your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA).

If you have put money into an FSA or HAS this year, make sure to use it before the end of the year.  Some plans allow you to roll over $500 to next year or use the balance until February, but for many accounts, anything you’ve put in this year will be gone by January 1.  If you’re looking for quick ways to spend it, try stocking up on contacts, getting a new pair of glasses, get a massage from an FSA-covered chiropractor, update your first aid kit or buy over-the-counter FSA-eligible medicines and sunscreens.  The FSA Store, Drugstore.com and Walgreens all offer websites specifically for FSA-eligible products.

3. Use your calendar-year preventative care benefits.

Many plans offer an annual physical, dental cleaning, vision checkup and gynecological exam with little or no out-of-pocket cost to consumers.  If you’re eligible for any of these, use them up before the end of the year.

4. Evaluate your doctors and research your options.

If you’re switching health plans, you’ll want to research new doctors.  And even if you’re sticking with the same health plan, the end of the year is a good time to evaluate if your physicians are meeting your needs.  If you’re unsatisfied, do some research to find a better doctor.

5. Decide on what plan want for next year.

Now is a great to time to take a look at how much you’re paying for health insurance and how much you’ve used this year.  If your company offers several plan options, take this time to evaluate which is right for your needs and if you’ve overspent this year, either by picking a plan that’s not enough for your needs or picking one that is too much.  If you’re purchasing your own health insurance, do some research before the open enrollment deadline of February 15 so that you can pick the best plan.

 

 

Divya Raghavan

Hi! I'm Divya. I lead marketing at BetterDoctor. I'm a Midwesterner, vegetarian and Harvard graduate.