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Use it or Lose it!

Updated: 12/6/21 11:00 amPublished: 12/6/21
By Natalie Sainz

As we approach the new year, we want to remind you that if you've met your annual health insurance deductible or are close to meeting it, do not forget to order any diabetes supplies you need before your deductible resets on January 1 (in the US).

The new year is just a few weeks away, which means your health insurance deductible, or the amount you pay out-of-pocket for covered medical services before your plan kicks in, is about to reset. Every year, your deductible resets on Jan. 1, meaning that you will have to pay out-of-pocket again until reaching your deductible threshold. Once you reach your deductible, you typically only have to pay your copay or coinsurance while your plan covers all other costs.

If you have already reached your deductible this year, make sure you get needed services completed before the end of the month so that you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for them next month.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your healthcare costs for the rest of the year:

  • Deductibles vary by each health plan. You should review your plan to find out your deductible amount. You can call the phone number on the back of your insurance card to find out when your insurance plan renews and how much your deductible is.

  • Some plans have deductibles that reset based on the “contract year” rather than the calendar year. Contract year means your plan begins and ends on the date that you began coverage. For example, it could begin April 1 and end March 31.

  • Copays and coinsurance do not typically count toward your deductible.

  • All Marketplace plans (government insurance plans like Medicare and Medicaid) must cover the full cost of certain preventive benefits even before you meet your deductible. This includes services like annual physicals, vaccinations, or certain preventive services. Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance are also set to increase in 2022, so it may be beneficial to get any needed healthcare services this year while costs are lower.

  • If you are on a family insurance plan, you might have two deductibles. This could be an individual deductible, which applies to each person, or a family deductible, which applies to the whole family.

  • ​​Although Health Savings Account (HSA) funds don't expire, the funds in your Flexible Savings Account (FSA) through your employer may: 

    • Expire at the end of the calendar year.

    • Allow a grace period of two and a half months to use funds.

    • Allow you to roll over $500 into next year's FSA.

Again, if you are unsure about your deductible or what your plan might cover, check with your insurance provider to make sure you are using your insurance in a financially effective way. 

To learn more about maximizing your health and insurance benefits, check out our other articles on health insurance and diabetes care:

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About the authors

Natalie Sainz joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2021 after graduating from Carleton College with a degree in Political Science and International Relations . Sainz is a writer for diaTribe Learn.... Read the full bio »