If You Don’t Use It, You May Lose It!

By Erica Marcano, MS ATC, CSCS

We’ve all heard the saying “use it or lose it” … it applies to your brain, your muscles … and possibly your health insurance and/or Flexible Spending Account benefits!

Gift shopping, entertaining family and friends, and other holiday activities often cause us to temporarily put our healthcare on the back burner, as we add it to our list of New Year’s resolutions. Whether it is losing those last ten pounds, finally getting that injury checked out, or getting cleared to return to activity after an injury, it’s easy to say, “I’ll get to it in January, when things are less hectic”. But did you know that this might be taking a toll on your pockets as well as your health?

Here’s why:

With the end of the year quickly approaching, your 2014 health insurance plan is about to kick in … and you may not have fully taken advantage of your 2013 benefits yet!  For example, most insurance plans give patients a set number of Physical Therapy visits in a given year, which cannot be rolled over into next year’s plan. So if you have the visits left, consider using them before your annual deductible resets. Or, if you have funds left in your Flexible Spending Account, think of the advantage of using them toward the co-payments at your appointments.  That makes December a great time not to put off healthcare, but rather to make sure that you are putting the benefits that you have left for this calendar year to good use.

Check in with a representative at your healthcare insurance company or with a staff member at your Physical Therapist’s office about your remaining benefits for the year.  As the cost of healthcare rises, be confident in knowing that you are getting the most out of whichever health insurance plan you are enrolled in.

Don’t wait until January to put your Life in Action — instead, go into the New Year a healthier, happier you!