Sure you use your health insurance when you go to the doctor, but did you know some health insurance plans offer more? Health insurance benefits has now expanded to help you stay healthy before you actually get sick. This includes benefits like fitness reimbursements, acupuncture and more. Here are 5 little known benefits that your health insurance may offer.
Certain health insurance plans offer a $300 fitness reimbursement per year. This is no longer limited to traditional gyms! The fitness reimbursement can include classes such as yoga and spin, fitness trackers, and core training equipment (including Peloton bikes & the subscription!). Check your plan to see what is covered before you spend money on a Peloton, FitBit, gym membership or other fitness related item. If you’re not sure what is covered, go to your fitness reimbursement plan provider. In your account, look for a fitness reimbursement account FAQ document. The fitness reimbursement account FAQ will clearly outline what is eligible and what is not eligible. Exercising regularly is a great way to stay healthier and avoid trips to the doctor as well.
In addition to fitness reimbursements, some health insurance companies and corporations have negotiated discounts directly with gyms and athletic clubs. These discounts are on top of the fitness reimbursement and help reduce the cost of going to the gym even further. If you aren’t sure if you are eligible for a discount at your local gym, ask them. Even if there is no discount available to you today, ask if they are open to discounts with local companies. There is always an opportunity to help your company negotiate the discount.
Some health insurance plans have been expanded to include acupuncture. Acupuncture has been shown to improve your wellness. This includes reduced stress, reduced physical pain and improved allergy relief. My health insurance covers about 20 acupuncture treatments per year and I am charged only a co-pay of $50 / visit.
Over the counter skin creams including anti-aging creams all claim great results at a high price point, but did you know that you could save money on skin care by going to a dermatologist? My dermatologist prescribed Retin-A which helps with skin aging and acne and with my insurance, the generic costs $8 and lasts about 3 months. Way cheaper than the $50+ per small tube of anti-aging cream at Sephora. In addition, we’ve found a skin care regimen that I stick to, saving money and eliminating the distracting ads on the latest skincare crazes. A dermatologist is considered a specialist, so standard co-pays apply.
Employee Assistance Program
Another benefit some health insurance plans offer is 24/7 access to unlimited phone consultations and eight free sessions per issue per year with EAP counselors. From there, some health insurance plan include in-network coverage where PPO members pay a $20 co-pay per visit.
BONUS: HSA / FSA Eligible Items
You know your doctors visits and prescriptions are eligible to be reimbursed by your HSA and FSA accounts, but did you know what else you can buy with these accounts? This is especially helpful if you have too much money to roll over in your FSA at the end of the year and you have to use it or lose it. Bandaids, Advil and sunscreen are examples of items that are not prescription but can be bought with FSA funds.
FSA store has a full list of FSA eligible items. They also note that medical face masks require a letter of medical necessity to be FSA eligible. Not all HSAs are the same, but here is a comprehensive list of HSA eligible items.
Additional HSA / FSA Eligible Items in the CARES Act
Did you know that the CARES Act passed in Spring 2020 in the United States expanded what you can use FSA and HSA funds? This act temporarily allows people to use FSA dollars to buy over the counter medications such as allergy relief drugs and pain relievers and feminine hygiene products. Take advantage soon though, right now this measure is only temporary!
What little known health insurance benefits have you found?