Navigating a New Year (and new insurance)

The start of a new year is often accompanied by changes – be they personal resolutions, career-related, or adjustments to the family.

Another significant change arriving with a new year, though, is the renewal of health insurance plans.

Entering this new year, many people may find themselves in need of scheduling an appointment with their primary care doctor as many patients prefer to make appointments when they have their new insurance cards in hand. Additionally, many often put off scheduling appointments due to busy schedules around the holiday season, and then forget to reschedule for after the first of the year.

However, by delaying an appointment, patients may be missing out on preventive care services that are covered by most insurance plans. These services can include annual physicals, vaccinations, and screenings for various health conditions.

Taking advantage of these services can help identify any potential health issues early on, leading to better treatment outcomes.

Adding to the importance of the matter is that a new insurance may also bring patients to having to change providers. If this is the case, picking a new PCP is a decision not to be taken lightly.

A primary care provider serves as your family’s first line of defense against everyday health issues and can evaluate symptoms in order to detect and diagnose chronic conditions in early stages and make referrals to more specialized care.

Other items to consider during the New (insurance) Year:

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Balances

If a health insurance plan includes an FSA (Flexible Spending Account), the account balance is funded with pre-tax dollars to cover health care costs. The use of pre-tax dollars allows patients to save money on their taxes by reducing taxable income.

Plan Changes

Your plan may not always remain consistent from year to year and there’s no guarantee members will get the same benefits each year. Be sure to review any changes that may be different in the New Year.


Deductibles reset at the end of each year, so see where you are at before the New Year begins.

Annual Maximums

Some health plans may have a maximum coverage amount. If you know you have upcoming appointments, it is best to have these taken care of before the New Year begins.