When it comes to medical expenses, this is the time to pay extra attention to what lies ahead.
If you’ve already met your health insurance deductible for 2018, you can save money by scheduling appointments and procedures before the end of the year — rather than waiting until 2019 when you begin a new year and your deductible kicks in again.
Keep in mind, though, your plan may have a maximum number of visits for certain things such as dental cleanings or physical therapy visits.
At the same time, it’s use-it-or-lose-it time for many with flexible spending accounts. Unless your employer offers a grace period or rollover option, the pretax money you have in an FSA must be used by Dec. 31.
You can spend what’s left on contact lens solution, cough medicine, first-aid kits, high-SPF sunscreen or even lip balm. Look to see what qualifies as accepted expenses.
(Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, work differently than FSAs in that you have an unlimited amount of time to reimburse yourself for eligible medical expenses. Yes, you can still use the money now to cover health-care expenses without depleting your cash on hand, but leaving money in an HSA long-term will enable you to use those funds to cover health-care expenses decades down the road.)
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