Don’t Forget To Take Advantage Of All Your Benefits

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Many of us are so busy running around that we forget to take advantage of all the benefits that we are paying for. Or maybe it’s just me. On my health plan, I am covered for an eye exam and a certain allowance for contact lenses or glasses once every 12 months. This doesn’t mean one each calendar year (as I thought), it means I have to wait at least 12 months after my last eye exam in order to get another one. Stupid me, it’s been almost two years and I haven’t gone in once. I only wear contacts when playing sports, and I finally ran out last week. I’m going in for an exam today, but I basically missed out on a two year’s worth of contacts.

I’m sure there are people who pay for dental coverage and don’t get all their free cleanings either. Also, this may fit perfectly if you need to finish using up your Flexible Spending Account balances.

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Comments

  1. Steve the K says:

    I’m guilty of having dental coverage through work but not using it in years. The plan I had, the least expensive one, had a limited choice of dentists, even fewer were/are taking new patients, and the ones I’ve tried I didn’t like.

    Starting in January, however, I will change dental plans to a more expensive PPO. More dentists on this plan, including one that I tried years ago and didn’t object to. Maybe the additional cost will be more motivation to get my semiannual cleanings.

  2. My plan for the past few years for my FSA has been to get Lasik or other eye surgery done at the end of the year if no crises have come up to use it up. However, my eyes have been changing since I switched to soft contacts from hard contacts a few years ago, so much that I don’t want to commit to surgery yet.

    Ah well – the FSA ends up going to a new pair of glasses (while my vision plan provides the exam and contacts).

    This coming year, I’m actually raising my FSA contributions. My company dropped the HMO I’m really happy with, but they’re allowing me to drop medical coverage entirely. The HMO has a high-deductible plan that goes along with an MSA. Nice things about the MSA: Tax-free going in *and* coming out as long as you use it for medical expenses, and it rolls over from year to year.

    I’m going to fully fund the MSA, but fund my FSA to the deductible limit and pay the deductible from that (as feasible) – leaving me money rolling over in the MSA.

    It’s not the cheapest option available, but it does give me a reasonable rate for my preferred HMO and let me save for future medical expenses tax-free.

  3. My vision care is an add-on. We get glasses/frames every year, but I only replace my glasses every 16-24 months so I only join every other year. Definitely come out ahead.

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