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If you’ve already met this year’s deductible (and out-of-pocket maximum, if applicable), take advantage of the fact by scheduling additional healthcare expenses before the end of the year. Many expenses will be mostly covered by your insurance (after a relatively small copay or coinsurance payment).

Refresher: Deductibles, Defined
A deductible is a predetermined amount you pay for covered healthcare expenses each year before your health insurance plan begins to pick up the tab. Keep in mind your deductible requirement resets (starts again at zero) each year on January 1st.

Here’s an example: If your plan’s deductible is $2,000, you’ll pay 100 percent of eligible (or ‘covered’) healthcare expenses until you’ve spent $2,000 on covered costs in a calendar year. After that, your plan will pay for most of the costs until the end of the year. If you have any questions about how deductibles work, the friendly experts at Michigan Beverage Collective are always happy to help.

Take Advantage of a Met Deductible
Once you’ve met your deductible for the year, it’s a great opportunity to take care of any less-urgent healthcare needs that you’ve been putting off due to cost. Be sure to confirm that the services and practitioners you’re considering are covered by your insurance plan. 

Here are four ways you might leverage your health insurance coverage before the end of the year:

1. Get a jump on necessary visits and procedures
This is the most obvious way to leverage a met deductible: if you already know you’ll need to schedule a procedure in the near future, make every effort to do so before the end of the year. If you wait, you’ll be paying the full cost until next year’s deductible is met.

2. See a specialist
Maybe you have a non-urgent healthcare concern that you’ve been ignoring that could benefit from a visit to a specialist. Now’s the time to schedule that appointment, whether it be with a gastrointestinal, dermatologist, orthopedic surgeon, or another provider, and have any needed diagnostic testing (x-rays, MRIs, bloodwork) done. 

3. Seek help with aches and pains
Physical therapy can work wonders in helping heal back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and so on. If you struggle with repetitive strain injuries due to work or hobbies, consider seeing a physical or occupational therapist. If you’ve ever wondered if acupuncture or other ‘alternative’ treatments might benefit you — and your insurance plan covers the cost —consider giving them a try.

4. Obtain medical equipment
If you have a prescription for new durable medical equipment, or if the equipment you already have needs to be replaced, do it before year-end. Examples include a CPAP machine, breastfeeding pump, oxygen tank, blood sugar monitor, and more. Why wait?

Insurance Answers are a Phone Call Away
The employee benefits professionals at the Michigan Beverage Collective can answer all your questions about healthcare coverage. Contact us to learn more about how we handle benefits administration and keep costs low for Michigan beverage company owners.

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