The Clock is Ticking on your 2019 Benefits!
It's Nov. 26, 2019 as of writing this and that means, for many of us, there are only 34 days left to use up your benefits, health spending accounts, etc. Like many of you, I pay for my extended health care benefits on a monthly basis and I'm certainly not going to let them go to waste without a fair fight!
As you may or may not know, many extended benefit programs “reset” at the beginning of each new year, and in the majority of cases, you can’t carry your unused benefits forward. So, if you didn’t make time for that massage or the magical crack of your local Chiropractor this year, you won't be able to carry those benefits forward into 2020.
But, fear not, for it’s not too late! Here’s how you can make the most of your 2019 benefits before they're gone.
Prioritize Essential Coverage First
Let’s face it, some benefits are going to be more critical to your well-being than others. For example, if you need to get dental work, an eye exam or an appointment with a specialist like a Podiatrist, prioritize these appointments first. Don’t procrastinate, either. Remember that others are hustling to their health-care providers right now to do just this — use up their benefits. So, that means you’ll need to be flexible to secure the appointments that are left.
For orthodontic services like braces or Invisalign, it is in your financial best interest to maximize your or your dependents’ coverage over the next few years as these services cost many thousands of dollars and need to be spread out.
Enjoy Your Paramedical Coverage
Most benefit packages provide coverage for Massage, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Emotional Therapy, Sleep Therapy, and visits to a Naturopathic Doctor. Spend a few minutes to understand the financial limits within each category by reviewing your coverage with your HR department or directly with your insurance provider. Then, use them up!
Side note, Oak Clinic provides direct billing for most benefit providers and can process your your coverage on the spot. Feel free to call in advance to ensure we can direct bill through your provider to ensure you're not paying out-of-pocket.
Check the Balances on your Health Spending or Life Benefit Accounts
Certain employers will also allocate a dollar value to an annual health or life spending account. These benefits can often be used for fitness memberships, personal training, IVF treatments, supplements, prescription glasses, nutritionists and more. Explore whether you have access to one of these, and then use it up!
Save Your Receipts
Most insurance companies expect you to hang onto your receipts for 1 year from the date of your appointment, even if you submit a copy of that receipt to them. Find a something like a file folder, envelope or something similar and toss your receipts in there for safe keeping. Moreover, if you incur medical expenses that are greater than $2,352, you can claim them on your taxes. So you'd be wise to keep receipts for most everything.