Learn Why the Start of a New Year Is Important to Your Insurance Benefits

Posted January 11 2018

Doctor holding piggy bankAhhh, what is it about the start of a new year? I guess it’s the opportunity for us to start fresh and leave our old baggage behind. Many of us are thinking about what this new year will have in store. Will we make it big? Will I find the “one”? Can I go to the doctor now? Wait, that last one doesn’t quite seem to fit. Every year, typically on January 1st, many insurance policies “start over”, refreshing deductibles and annual benefit maximums. So, for those of you wondering why insurance should even be on your mind this time of year, let us explain!

With a new calendar year comes the possibility of new insurance benefits such as, vision and dental, to go along with your health insurance. Depending on where you work, and what benefits your company provides, you may have a new benefits package. If you already had these benefits, then the annual benefit maximum will be reset. The annual benefit maximum is important because there are many cases where it can save you money depending on what time of year you visit the doctor or dentist. Let’s use Bobby as an example. Bobby has dental insurance with an annual benefit maximum of $1,000, and since he believes in good oral hygiene he visits the dentist twice a year for cleanings as recommended.

  • Visit 1: Bi-annual cleaning. Insurance covers 100% of this visit, which totals $250.
  • Visit 2: Second bi-annual cleaning. Insurance covers 100% of this visit, which totals $250.
  • Visit 3: Uh-oh! The dentist determines Bobby needs a root canal. Insurance only covers 50% of this visit, which totals $1,000.

If Bobby needs to visit the dentist again within the same calendar year, he will be paying for it out of pocket because his $1,000 annual benefit maximum has been reached ($250+$250+$500=$1,000). So in this situation it may make sense for Bobby to hold out until the following calendar year for his next visit to be covered by insurance. It is important for us to mention that this strategy should NOT be used by everyone.

You should seek medical treatment right away for circumstances that require immediate attention. Emergencies, or issues that can really affect your health should be taken seriously. If you need medical attention, it is better to be safe than trying to save a few bucks! With the new calendar year, it is also a great time to review your health insurance coverage. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has caused many policies to change. A particular benefit that may have been covered in your policy, may no longer be covered, and vice versa. Also, your network of doctors may have changed as well so it’s important to check to see if your doctor still accepts your insurance before you schedule your next check-up.

Your health and wellness is important to us. Whether you are purchasing health insurancefor the first time, looking for better coverage or are interested in learning more about other types of insurance available to you such as life insurance, we can help! Visit our website at mhginsurance.com or speak with an Insurance Specialist at 954 828 1819.