While a crisp new calendar can feel like a fresh start, there’s something else that gets a clean slate every January 1: your health plan deductible! Your deductible is the amount you must pay for medical care each year before your insurance company begins paying for your healthcare bills. The best way to maximize your health care benefits is to schedule those last appointments before the year ends and your deductible resets.
So maybe the best question to ask yourself at this time of year is not “Have you started your holiday shopping yet?” but “Have you scheduled all your health screenings yet?”
If not, there’s no better time than today.
Here are some of the most important preventative screenings that promote good health:
- Well Visit – Includes personal history, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), physical exam, and counseling
- Colonoscopy – Screening for colon cancer begins at age 50 (unless you are at high risk) and then every 10 years
- Skin cancer screening – Annual total skin exam at discretion of your physician
- Mammogram and breast exam (women) – Annual screening for breast cancer
- Pap smear and cervical exam (women) – Annual screening for cervical cancer
- Testicular and prostate exam (men) – Annual screening for testicular cancer and prostate cancer
- Eye exam – Annual comprehensive eye exam to test for visual acuity, refractive errors and eye disease
Get the maximum benefit out of your medical coverage by calling your health care provider to verify the amount of your annual deductible. The phone number is located on your health care ID card, and a representative will assist you. He or she can also tell you whether you have met your annual deductible. If you have not, you can find out how close you are to meeting your deductible before the end of the year.