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31 More Days To Use Up Your Health Benefits For The Year.

If you pay for health insurance, this last month of the year is the time to make sure you use up any benefits you have left and/or any money still in your Flexible Spending Account. After all, you pay for the insurance so why not use as much of it as you can? While I no longer have health insurance, I did use up all my dental benefits for 2009 last month when I had some crown work done and I got my prescriptions filled and saw a doctor one last time before I lost my medical benefits. I meant to get a full physical which was included in the BCBS plan I had, but I ran out of time. Oh well! Some things to keep in mind for these next 31 days so you can be sure to use up your benefits:

Go to the dentist and get your teeth cleaned! My insurance covered 2 cleanings a year and I made sure to use them up. (Getting cleanings often is also a way to keep future dental expenses in check)

Check how much money you have left in your Flexible Spending account and see what medical expenses you can use it for before you lose it. Some often-missed uses of this money include costs of acupuncture, bandages, birth control pills, chiropractor visits, COBRA payments, contact lenses & solution, eyeglasses, eye exams, and stop-smoking programs.

Check if you have hit the deductible on your insurance options. If you have already, that means your insurance company will pay more of your care costs, so visit a doctor for anything that has been bothering you!

Refill any prescriptions before the calendar year starts over. Most insurance companies only cover X amount for prescriptions, and if you haven’t hit it yet, refill those meds.

You have 31 more days to use up the benefits you paid for all year, so spend a few minutes going over your records or calling your insurance company to see where you stand. They have no problem taking money from you, so you shouldn’t feel bad cramming a bunch of doctor and/or dentist visits in before the end of the year!


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Comments (9)

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  1. Shaun says:

    BTW, the money in your HSA will NOT be lost when the new years starts. The FSAs are that way, but the HSA is a program designed to built up money over the long term for medical expenses, and will not be reset come Jan 1.

  2. Melissa says:

    I don’t think you lose money in your HSA at the end of the year, but correct me if I’m wrong. It’s only the FSA with a use it or lose it policy.

  3. David says:

    I believe you are correct – totally forgot about that. Will look into it. 🙂

  4. […] 31 More Days To Use Up Your Health Benefits For The Year. | My Two … […]

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  6. Jaime says:

    I agree that you should be sure to spend your FSA money before the year ends and it is lost – after all, it is your hard earned cash that you chose to have diverted from your pay check. However, the attitude that you should try to cram in as many visits/tests/procedures as you can before the year ends is part of what has got us in the health care crisis. If you are ill or due for an annual physical – by all means, go to the doctor! And it makes sense to do it now rather than after January 1 if you have satisfied your deductible or catastrophic. However, we would all be better off if each of us were more responsible about how we spent health care dollars. We all pay for it one way or another.

  7. David says:

    How is “Cramming” in visits that you already paid for, bad? You pay insurance for a reason, and if you are not using your benefits, then you are paying for nothing. Consider yourself lucky if you even have insurance, which I don’t anymore.

  8. Dawn/FFL says:

    My FSA allows use through March 10 of the following year. So some people might not have to ‘cram’ in an appt.

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