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Make the Most of your Health Insurance

Make the Most of your Health Insurance

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Schedule appointments, tests and surgeries to maximize your health plan benefits before year end

Wilkes-Barre (September, 2022) - As the holidays approach, it’s easy to forget to take advantage of your insurance benefits. Now is a good time to review your outstanding health care needs and take full advantage of paid-up deductibles or available funds in Flexible Spending Accounts while you still can.

“In considering their health care needs, people should also consider the best strategy for using their available health insurance plan benefits,” said Dr. Jeffrey Montgomery, a primary care physician with Commonwealth Health Physician Network’s Shavertown office. “Take advantage of unused benefits to complete outstanding treatments or recommended tests or procedures before the year ends.”

Most health insurance plans have a deductible requirement—a predetermined amount of healthcare expense that must be covered before the plan begins paying the majority of (if not all) remaining expenses. Dr. Montgomery says it’s crucial to know how close you are to meeting your deductible—or if you’ve already met it “because once you reach that threshold, you have a limited window of opportunity to obtain health care services and have the bulk of that expense covered by your plan. Remember: a new year brings a new deductible,” he says.

The close of 2022 also affects individuals who have Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)—which are pre-tax dollars set aside primarily for health-related expenses. The Internal Revenue Service requires those funds to be spent—or forfeited—by December 31. It’s a “use it or lose it” proposition, says Dr. Montgomery.

If you have been putting off scheduling care, such as an annual check-up, allergy testing, or elective surgery, it would be wise to check your deductible status and your FSA balance to see if there’s money to be saved, encourages Dr. Montgomery .

“It’s important to schedule services promptly so there is enough time to have the test or elective procedure done before the end of the year. Getting everything squared-away by early December will help ensure the services you receive are considered part of your 2022 coverage,” he says.

Every health plan is different. It is important to know how your plan works so you can get the most from your benefits.

To find a primary care physician, call 1-800-838-WELL or visit cwhphysiciannetwork.net to be connected with one of Commonwealth Health Physician Network’s qualified primary care physicians. Most major insurance plans are accepted, including Geisinger Health Plan.


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