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Play it smart with year-end healthcare

November 30, 2021 at 7:57 a.m.

It's easy to get caught up in the holiday season and forget to take advantage of your insurance benefits. However, the holidays are a good time to schedule doctors' visits and recommended medical tests and procedures. They're also a good time to recover before you return to work in January.

Whether you have already met your deductible or are using a flexible spending account, you have until the end of December to make sure you get the most out of your benefits.

Most health insurance plans have a deductible requirement -- a predetermined amount of healthcare expenses that must be covered before the plan begins paying the majority (if not all) of expenses related to necessary medical care.

If you have been putting off scheduling prescribed care, annual checkups or recommended screenings, it would be wise to check your deductible status and plan benefits. This can be an ideal time to access healthcare services if you have already paid your deductible in full. These services may include any outstanding prescribed treatments, recommended medical tests, procedures, checkups or screenings for yourself or family members.

The key is to obtain all the health services you need before Dec. 31, because with the New Year comes a new deductible.

Do you have a flexible spending account?

If you have FSAs -- check your balance. These accounts, which hold pre-tax dollars set aside to pay for healthcare-related expenses, must be depleted by the end of the year or the money is forfeited. This adds another incentive to schedule services now and ensure your hard-earned dollars are spent, not lost.

Now is the time to schedule your necessary doctors' visits or tests like a screening mammogram or a colonoscopy you may have been postponing. That way, there's enough time to have the test or procedure completed before the end of the year. Getting everything squared away by early December will help ensure the services you receive are considered part of your 2021 coverage.

If you're looking for a provider or specialist, visit NW-Physicians.com to find one near you.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a 73 licensed bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission and was recognized as a four-star hospital by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. With more than 50 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassionate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, the largest health system in Northwest Arkansas. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more information, visit NorthwestHealth.com.

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