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Money Leaks: Not Using Your Medical Benefits

A lot has been made about health care in the United States, especially given the recent passage of “health care reform.” Proponents of health care reform argue that it wasn’t enough, enemies of the bill say that it puts an undue burden on businesses and is government interference in our personal lives. No matter how you approach it, health care is a big issue because, bottom line, we all want to be healthy, right?

Well, as it turns out, it’s very easy for you to not use all of your medical benefits. I don’t mean flexible spending accounts, which are the most obvious benefit that could be squandered either by not participating or letting a balance expire. I mean the regular routine checkups you are eligible for but don’t take advantage of.

This is the latest edition of Money Leaks. [3]

Regular Checkups

If you have medical insurance, you should check to see what is covered as part of your annual routine preventive maintenance. You will typically get at least one annual checkup with your physician, optometrist (with vision coverage), and dentist (with dental coverage). You may have to pay a co-pay with each of the visits but the checkup and cleaning itself will be covered entirely. Also, depending on your age, the services covered will vary.

It’s important to take advantage of these essentially free checkups because preventive care is so much cheaper than prescriptive care. Wouldn’t you rather have your teeth cleaned once a year than have cavities filled? Ever since I went to cleanings twice a year (and flossing regularly!), the cleaning visit itself has been less painful, faster, and I haven’t had any dental issues.

Remember to take advantage of these services!