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!