Health Insurance Benefits and Deductibles Will Reset for Many Next Month: eHealthInsurance Releases Year-End Tips
December 20, 2011 | Consumer Advice
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – December 20, 2011 – Today eHealthInsurance (NASDAQ: EHTH), the leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families, and small businesses, released five tips designed to help consumers make the most of their health insurance dollars before the end of 2011.
Many consumers with employer-sponsored or individually-purchased health insurance plans run the risk of leaving money – and tangible medical benefits – on the table this year. They may not be aware that certain health insurance benefits and annual deductibles may reset on January 1, 2012. eHealthInsurance recommends that consumers take a few minutes each December to re-familiarize themselves with the details of their coverage and get the most out of their health insurance dollars.
Top Five Year-End Health Insurance Tips
Don't miss out on calendar-year benefits - Some health plans cover annual physicals with little or no out-of-pocket cost, and it's nice to start the new year with a clean bill of health. If you have dental or vision coverage, you may be eligible for a cleaning, check-up, contact lenses or glasses. Check with your insurance company to see if you’re still eligible for any specific services like these in 2011.
Work your deductible - Many health insurance plans come with a deductible that resets every calendar year. If you've already met your deductible for 2011, last-minute claims may be covered at a lower out-of-pocket cost to you before the new year. Conversely, if you expect to have a lot of healthcare expenses in 2012, you may want to schedule care for early next year so you can fulfill your deductible as soon as possible. Also, if you contribute a lot toward your deductible in the last three months of 2011, you may wish to contact your health insurance company to ask about "fourth-quarter roll over." Some health insurers will allow dollars paid toward your deductible in the final months of 2011 to "roll over" or count toward your 2012 annual deductible. This can give you a head start toward meeting your deductible in the new year.
Be smart with FSA dollars - Funds in most employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) don't roll over from year to year. Check with your Human Resources department or FSA administrator to see if you have money left in your account, and make use of it before the end of December. Keep track of your medical expenses throughout the year to help you accurately predict future costs for next year.
Look out for benefit changes in 2012 - It's not unusual for health insurance companies to notify you of upcoming changes to your rates, benefits or covered providers during the last couple months of the year. These changes are often communicated through mailers which many people throw away without reading. Keep an eye out for email from your insurance company too. Pay attention to the fine print to be sure your current health plan will continue to meet your needs in 2012. Work with a licensed agent like eHealthInsurance to learn more about your options.
Get a jump on healthy News Year's resolutions - Check with your health insurance company to see if they offer discounts with local or national health clubs. Some do, and you could save money on monthly membership cost for yourself or your family.
Additional Consumer Resources:
- Download or request a FREE printed copy of our book, Individual Health Insurance For Dummies, Health Care Reform Special Edition, produced in cooperation with For Dummies®, a branded imprint of Wiley, and co-authored by eHealthInsurance
- Follow eHealthInsurance’s consumer blog, Get Smart – Get Covered
- Watch educational health insurance videos from eHealthInsurance on YouTube
- Browse our answers to real-life health insurance questions on Yahoo Answers
- Follow eHealthInsurance on Facebook and Twitter
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company's website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through the company’s eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealthTechnology’s exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.
For more health insurance news and information, visit the eHealthInsurance consumer blog: Get Smart – Get Covered.