Americans Are Delaying Medical Care Due to Cost

A record number of Americans (38%) postponed medical care last year. The 2022 percentage is the highest since Gallup began tracking Americans’ medical care annually in 2001. Americans were more than twice as likely to delay treatment for what they considered to be “serious” rather than a non-serious condition or illness. Most respondents cited inflation as creating hardships for them, impacting their decisions to receive medical care. Fortunately, your employee benefits can help lessen the financial strain. To stretch your health care dollars, consider the following tips:

  • Use in-network providers.
  • Consider the deductible and opt for additional treatments once the deductible has been hit to save costs.
  • Seek preventive care, including screenings and immunizations.
  • Ask providers about treatments, alternative options and costs to boost your health literacy.

Talk to your HR representative if you have any questions about your health care benefits and associated costs.

7 Hidden Perks Offered by Health Plans

Health plans may offer some valuable benefits you don’t even know about. To get the most out of your employer-sponsored health plan, consider the following common hidden perks and discounts:

  • Health management programs (e.g., weight loss, chronic conditions and smoking cessation)
  • Alternative health therapies (e.g., acupuncture and chiropractic)
  • Chronic or terminal care coordination
  • Mental health services (e.g., group counseling, individual therapy and mental health apps)
  • Fitness membership discounts
  • Travel and entertainment discounts (e.g., hotels and attractions)
  • Lifestyle discounts (e.g., teeth whitening and identity theft services)

Familiarize yourself with your health plan to avoid extra bills and take advantage of all your benefits. Perks and discounts vary, so talk to HR about your plan’s offerings.

FSAs Explained

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside pre-tax income for qualified medical or child and elder care expenses each plan year. The following types of expenses of eligible for health care FSA reimbursements:

  • Medical (e.g., copayments, deductibles, prescription drugs and medical devices)
  • Dental (e.g., preventive care, teeth cleaning and fillings)
  • Vision (e.g., eye exams, contracts and eyeglasses)

dependent care FSA (also called a dependent care assistance plan or DCAP) can pay for the care of children under 13 by a babysitter, day care center and before – or after-school program – along with care for a disabled spouse, parent or child older than 12.

You’ll want to contribute realistically to your FSA, as any funds left at the plan year’s end are forfeited. For 2023, the health care FSA limit is $3,050, and the dependent care FSA limit is $5,000 per household (or $2,500 if married and filing taxes separately).

The information in this newsletter is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as professional advice. © 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.