With the holiday season and end of the year approaching, it’s time to revisit your 2021 health plan benefits which could ultimately save you money AND set you up for success in 2022! Here are our tips for maximizing your health benefits before the new year.
Schedule Remaining Visits
If you’ve met your plan’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum, most of your doctor’s visits will either be fully covered or cost significantly less. Check with your healthcare providers to see if you can fit in any follow-up visits you may need before the end of the year since they may cost you less than waiting until the new year. If you haven’t checked off all of your preventive care visits, like a physical, schedule those before Friday, December 31, 2021, as those appointments are typically covered in full by insurance plans. While the doctor’s visit is free, some lab work may not be, even for preventive care, so you may want to take advantage of your benefits now before the beginning of a new year of benefits.
Deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums will reset as of Saturday, January 1, 2022. Make sure you’re prepared for this by budgeting for increases in health spending at the beginning of the new year. If you are due for refills on a prescription or diabetes supplies, make sure to fill it before the end of the year if possible. Also be prepared for any cost fluctuations that may affect your budget. For example, your co-pay for insulin or supplies may be changing next year. Research any changes to your plan in advance so you aren’t surprised next year. If you are using a co-pay savings card, it may expire at the end of the year. Check the card website or call the company that issues the card to check and renew if needed. Don’t wait until you are at the pharmacy to realize your co-pay card has expired!
Use Your 2021 Benefits
Make sure to use all of your health spending benefits from this year so you don’t lose them. If you have a Flexible Spending Account, you’ll need to use all of those funds before Friday, December 31, 2021, or you’ll lose them. Some employers allow a grace period of a few weeks but, try to use your funds by the end of the year. If you don’t have a specific use in mind, you can stock up on alcohol wipes, glucose tablets, ketone strips, a spare blood glucose meter and test strips, sharps containers or over-the-counter medicines. If you have a Health Savings Account, rest assured that those funds will roll over to the next year and you can use them or save as you normally would.
Above all else, always be aware of any new changes to your plan and upcoming deadlines. Being prepared and doing a little research will ensure that you are off to a great start in 2022.
For additional resources for navigating insurance with type 1 diabetes (T1D), visit our Health Insurance Guide.