Updated: Oct 30
In health, there are a lot of ways we could apply the phrase “use it or lose it.”
Keep your body active or lose muscle and balance.
Keep your mind stimulated or lose synapsis and sharpness.
Keep your lab results optimal or experience degeneration.
And here at modrn med we help you with all that and more.
Because our goal is to help you live the most satisfying life possible right up until the end.
In that spirit, we want to help you out with a topic we don’t often talk a lot about.
That may have come as a curve ball for some of you!
After all, we don’t bill insurance directly.
In fact, the state of California unfortunately does not allow for naturopathic medical doctors to be contracted with insurance companies.
On the plus side…
When you make an appointment, we don’t require you to prove your insurance before meeting with us.
And when we work together, we can choose tailor made solutions for you – not just follow the conventional standard of care.
However, we know that some of you rely on insurance to help you pay for things like appointments, lab tests, and prescriptions.
So we want to help you consider how to get the most out of your plan and our services.
As for the “Use It or Lose It” blog title?
Well, this time of year a couple things are happening.
For the upcoming year, you may be researching new health plans.
For the remainder of this year, you may have reached deductibles or out of pocket maximums OR have tax saving spending accounts to use.
Let’s start with reviewing plans for next year.
First, keep in mind that we are governed by California laws since our clinic is based out of Sherman Oaks.
Since the state does not allow us to contract with insurance companies…
We CAN provide you with a superbill after your visit. Many of our patients submit these superbills to their insurance companies for full or partial reimbursement. Dig into the details of the plans you are considering for what is available to you.
Another thing to read the fine print on is PPO insurance plans. Depending on your plan and your communication with your primary provider, we can order blood work through your insurance.
If you have an HMO we have a very affordable lab company to order blood work through, or we can give you a list of labs to ask your primary care doctor to run through your HMO.
The key to working within restrictive network services is to uncover how to use the system in your favor.
HSA or FSA accounts are another great option.
These are arrangements where you set money aside to pay for qualified medical services. The benefit is that you don’t pay any tax on that money so it can be a 25% or more savings!
Looking ahead to 2023, you can contribute up to $3,850 for yourself or $7,750 for a family into an HSA.
These are partnered with high deductible health plans and are great for entrepreneurs and/or people who expect to reach deductibles on any plan they choose. Once you hit the deductible with an HDHP, you’ve often hit the maximum out-of-pocket.
A friend got an HSA in 2022 because they were welcoming a new baby via C-section. That deductible was certainly going to be hit!
And a good chunk of that was covered by tax free money.
Ok…now we are going to switch gears a bit and talk about elements of health insurance plans to consider both right now and next year.
First up are Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts.
FSAs allow employees to be reimbursed for medical expenses. They are usually funded through voluntary salary reduction agreements with your employer. No employment or federal income taxes are deducted from your contribution. The employer may also contribute.
They’re pretty great.
In 2022, you could contribute $2850, and in 2023, you can do $3050.
However, FSA is known for its “use it or lose it” feature. AKA you have a deadline to use the funds in your FSA.
Your money typically expires at the end of the plan year and needs to be rolled over for you to be able to access it.
Now you might be saying, “Wait a minute! I have a FSA and rolled over money the last 2 years.”
And that’s true. Due to COVID, the IRS allowed employers to carry over all unspent funds into the entire next year.
2022 to 2023 is different.
If your employer allows it (not a guarantee), you may be able to carry over a maximum of $570 of 2022 into 2023 if enrolled again for next year.
OR your employer may (again not guaranteed) allow a grace period of 2.5 months to use it.
So where are you at?
What does your employer allow and how much do you have left in the account?
Can those resources be best spent to either start or continue your health journey at modrn med?
Since you are part of our community, we certainly believe so.
Before we end this blog entry, we have one more important time sensitive piece of information for you to consider about your 2022 health insurance.
Deductible and Out-of-Pocket Maximums.
There are a huge range of options with different health plans.
In fact, it’s often the first thing considered at the top of an insurance summary.
Well, at this time of year, it can be really helpful to tally up how much you have used.
After all, if you have surpassed your deductible, each appointment, lab, and prescription could essentially be at a discount now.
And if you have hit your maximum, anything you do that is covered can be considered free.
Talk about some beneficial holiday spending!
But you need to book a visit for the final five weeks of the year.
We only have so many slots available and each practitioner will be taking some time off to enjoy the holidays.
Grab an appointment while we still have some available.
One final note:
If your HSA or FSA is used up for this year…
Or your new plan for next year better covers modrn med services…
Or you plan to go all in on your deductibles and maximums next year…
You can book appointments for January NOW!
Here’s to starting the new year off right!
This article does not constitute tax, insurance, or legal advice and should not be relied upon as instructions to complete your tax return or choose and bill insurance. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified tax, insurance, or legal advisor.