Met Your Deductible? Schedule an End-of-Year GI Procedure

What is a Healthcare Deductible?

Your annual healthcare deductible is the amount you must pay for covered medical procedures before your insurance company begins to contribute. One of the best ways to stretch your healthcare dollars is to schedule elective procedures after you have met your annual deductible. It’s almost the end of the calendar year, so if you haven’t maximized your health insurance benefits, now is the time.

Most deductibles reset on January 1, so evaluate whether you should schedule a recommended, routine procedure, like a screening colonoscopy before December 31. If you meet your deductible, your out-of-pocket responsibility for an elective GI procedure could be considerably less.

Get the Most Out of Your Health Care Plan

Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your health plan.

  1. Talk to your doctor about what GI procedures and tests are necessary or recommended. Obtain the procedure codes.
  2. Call your health insurance provider. Ask if you have met your deductible or if you are close to meeting it. Using the procedure codes from your doctor, request an estimate of costs for diagnostic tests, lab work and outpatient procedures so you can prioritize your spending.
  3. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, call the customer service number on the back of your card or log into your account to check your balance. FSA funds do not roll over into the following year, so plan to use your FSA money on a GI procedure if you need one.
  4. Consider carefully before using Health Account Savings (HSA). HSA contributions do not expire like FSA contributions. You can accumulate HSA funds and save them for a future elective procedure, so use your HSA after you have depleted your FSA.
  5. Do not delay scheduling preventive screenings like colonoscopies. Medicare and most private insurance cover preventive tests. If you do not have a family or personal history of colon cancer, most screening colonoscopy procedures (including anesthesia and sedation) are covered at 100 percent.

Set aside a few hours to call your doctor, insurance provider and FSA or HSA account provider. These calls will not take as long as you might think, and they could save you thousands of dollars.