End of the Year Health Care Strategies

Christina Lasich, MD Health Pro November 13, 2012
  • Time is running out on your health insurance benefits. At the end of the year, deductibles reset and coverage for ancillary services reset too. So if you need some healthcare work done, now is the time before it’s too late.

     

    Now is a good time to get that physical therapy tune-up that you have been putting off all year long. Those who have Medicare and other insurances only have so many visits allowed per year. If you play your cards right, you could utilize this year’s visits and roll into the next year with a fresh allotment of visits allowed. This strategy will give you some much need consistent, consecutive care. Because, let’s face it, 12 physical therapy visits per year is barely enough to get started and have an impact on chronic pain.

     

    Now is also a good time to get that special imaging study done because your deductible is going to reset on January 1. If the result of an MRI, CT scan, or x-ray is going the change your treatment plan, schedule an appointment to have the tests done before the end of the year when your out-of-pocket costs will likely increase.

     

    Sometimes the expense of an imaging study can be avoided if you see a specialist that has the skills to pinpoint the problem easily. Yes, now is a good time to see a specialist too, before your insurance coverage resets. The specialist might want you to get an imaging study or go to physical therapy. Try to get as much done towards finding a solution or finding some pain relief before the end of the year.

     

    If you play the insurance game well, you will save money and get the most out of your insurance coverage. In January, you’d really kick yourself if a doctor told you that you needed physical therapy, an imaging study or a consultation, especially if you used up your deductible last year and are now faced more deductible expenses in the new year. If you had unused physical therapy visits last year, those visits could have been used to your benefit. Insurance is for your benefit. Use it or lose it.