This time of year, many of us are out bargain hunting and trying to come up with last-minute gift ideas. Somewhere in the backs of our minds, though, is that little tickle of fear about paying the piper (and the online retailer, and the local department store) come January.
What’s that got to do with insurance?
Well, I could suggest that a life insurance policy makes a swell present, but I don’t want to get on the “wrong” list. But there’s another insurance-related product that just might be of help: your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). That’s right, those tax-advantaged dollars, just sitting there waiting to be used up.
But how does that help put candles in the menorah, or presents under the tree?
Well, have you looked at your kids’ teeth lately? Been thinking about those braces, but find it difficult to choose between a bright smile when opening gifts, or a straight-toothed, but disappointed, one? How about using your FSA to pay the orthodontist’s bill, and then head to the mall?
Good health is a great present any time of the year, and aren’t you about due for that physical? Hate to spend the bucks right now, though, when those free-shipping offers abound. Never fear, just use the FSA to pay for that routine exam, complete with bloodwork and stress-tests. Hey, you could probably climb up the chimney!
Lifting that new big-screen TV put a strain on your back? Acupuncture may be just what the doctor orders, and yes, you can pay for that with FSA funds, too.
Finally, stockings hanging on a fireplace sure look nice, but restocking the medicine cabinet may be a better idea (and it’s not a fire hazard, either). Most health plans include a mail-order option, which gets you a 3 month supply of your Allegra and Lipitor, and a lot of OTC (over the counter) meds can now be purchased with money from your FSA.
So, have a truly healthy holiday season!
Personal Note #1: I was privileged to take part in a conference call with Senator Ron Wyden the other day; he discussed his new health care bill with a dozen medbloggers (yours truly included). My take on it is here.
Personal Note #2: I’m hosting this week’s Cavalcade of Risk, please stop by.
Henry Stern, LUTCF is an independent insurance agent in Dayton, OH. A licensed Continuing Education instructor for Ohio and Kentucky, he has well over 20 years of experience in “the biz.” He blogs every day (or so it seems) at InsureBlog.