Experts say use those deductibles
The rush is on to 'use-or-lose' our health benefits this year. Health officials say now is the time to schedule that annual checkup you've been putting off in 2012.
Joel Bailleu with Texas-based Healthcare Associates says it really makes sense financially.
"When patients do that, it allows them to have no out-of-pocket," says Bailleu. "Whereas if they wait just after the first of the year, when most people's deductibles reset, they have to start all over.
"And most of the health plans these days give deductible credit for what is spent in the last two months of the year for the next year," he says. "So they actually get 14 months value out of a 12-month opportunity if they do it in the last two months of the year."
If you have a health spending account, be sure to use that up as well.
"You can spend it anything at all," says Bailleu. "You can spend it on glasses, you can spend it on cosmetic surgeries, and you can spend it on dental."
Bailleu says contrary to popular belief, this is a down time for most family physicians. However, specialists may be tough to come by.