Money Mondays: Health Benefits to Use Before the End of the Year

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Now that December has started, it’s time to think about year-end activities.

Health Benefits to Use Before the End of the Year 

Part of year-end planning is to assess your health benefits and figure out what you may lose out when the year ends.  Look at your health plan and review your benefits closely.  A lot of people don’t use their benefits and can possibly lose these opportunities to get healthy or boost your preparedness efforts.

  1. Medical checkups – Most health plans allow for one yearly checkup with your primary care physician.  Have you gone this year?  How about your spouse and kids?  Now is your chance to have your health checked and make improvements.  Being prepared also includes getting healthy and fit.  Also if you feel your job is unstable and staff cuts are on the horizon, it is even more imperative that you use your medical benefits now while you have coverage.  The same goes for the rest of the benefits outlined below.
  2. Elective medical procedures – Have you been putting off a much needed medical procedure?  Have you already met your plan’s annual deductible?  Consider your situation and think about whether it could get worse if you do not take care of what ails you.  Have an honest conversation with your medical professional then make your decision accordingly.  Here’s a post when I finally took care of an ongoing issue that I had procrastinated for so long.
  3. Dental evaluation – Again, most dental plans allow two cleaning visits per year, either at no cost of low cost.  Don’t miss out on getting your teeth professionally cleaned.  You may also find out you have some needed dental work.  This will allow you to make plans for next years’ expenses.
  4. Flexible spending accounts (FSA) – I can write a whole post about just flexible spending accounts.  They are a “use it or lose it” benefit.  If you have money left over in the FSA, it does not carry over until next year.  Review your balance and the covered expenses.  You could potentially use any remaining dollars to boost your first aid kit: thermometers, blood pressure monitor, Ace bandages, and many other items are covered.
  5. Eye exam – Just like medical and dental checkups, many health plans also cover eye exams once per year.  Have your vision checked, as well as your family’s.


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