Happy New “Plan” Year
When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, many health benefit items reset to zero; and other changes likely affect your health benefits, too. Here are some things to consider as the new year starts.
- Health Care Deductibles. This is what you pay for health care services before your plan pays anything. This almost definitely resets to zero on January 1.
- Out-of-Pocket Maximum. This is the limit to how much you actually pay—including deductibles and co-pays—in a plan year. This usually starts over on January 1 as well.
- Rx Coverage. In high deductible plans with no Rx benefits, you must pay for prescription expenses in full until you reach your deductible.
- Preventive Care. Most plans cover 100% of the cost for in-network preventive health care services on a calendar-year basis. Potentially life-saving services such as vaccinations and screening tests are covered in full.
- Health Savings Account (HSA). If you have money left in your HSA account at the end of the year, it rolls over into the new year with no penalty.
Network Changes. Some physicians might leave or join networks on January 1. Make sure your providers are still in your network.