Met my max out of pocket for health insurance - now what?!
October 25, 2018 4:21 PM   Subscribe

So I have met my max out of pocket for my health insurance for the year for the first time... ever. So how can I take advantage?! What should I do?

I figure I spend so much on health insurance that I should take advantage of NOT having to pay for services out of pocket for the rest of the year. But I am relatively healthy and don’t use my insurance often so I am not sure what I should look into. I have had my yearly physical and OBGYN appointment already.

What else could I do to take advantage of this? I have never been to a chiropractor. Is that something a relatively healthy person could benefit from? What other things could I do? I am on no regular medications.

I have hit my personal out of pocket max but not the family max (and everyone else is very far away from that amount) so it’s just me taking advantage.
posted by polkadot to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Mole & skin check at the dermatologist.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:24 PM on October 25, 2018 [13 favorites]

If you're fair-skinned, you could see a dermatologist to check out or map all your moles.

Does your plan cover massage or accupuncture?
posted by hydra77 at 4:25 PM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Some plans cover acupuncture.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:30 PM on October 25, 2018

If you have chiropractic coverage and any sort of joint / neck / back / limb pain, or headaches, or any job or hobby that causes you muscle strain, an evaluation and a few visits (if required) could be worth your while. (Your provider may not cover visits if you have no diagnosed problem that needs chiropractic, though, so only go if you actually have a reason.)
posted by halation at 4:36 PM on October 25, 2018

The most Metafilter answer: (if you insurance covers) Go see a therapist. Not that you have mental health challenges or anything, but even for somebody healthy, just spending a few hours talking to somebody about that aspect of their being be an extremely positive experience.
posted by General Malaise at 4:43 PM on October 25, 2018 [8 favorites]

A lot of physical therapy places are basically gyms with individual trainers that take insurance. If you have any sort of mobility/back/etc. issues you can make some progress there while going to the gym for free.
posted by griphus at 4:44 PM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seasonal, environmental, and food allergy testing at an allergist.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:50 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Eye doctor! Massage... if covered, an extra teeth cleaning? If you take any occasional meds, fill a script now, so you’ll have some for the upcoming year. I splurge on new epipens.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 4:57 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I would suggest not seeing a chiropractor -- some of them may be fine, but others just specialize in money extraction, and a badly executed adjustment can damage your spine.

I would second the suggestions for allergist or physical therapist if you have any issues that could justify it.

Or blood tests at a GP to check for nutritional deficiencies and such.
posted by space snail at 5:04 PM on October 25, 2018 [10 favorites]

If you have seasonal meds, up them. I usually take allergy meds for three months and albuterol in the winter ... I’d fill thise before the year flips.
posted by tilde at 5:25 PM on October 25, 2018

I would recommend double checking your plan. When I was on my partner's insurance, my individual OOP max was irrelevant. We had to reach the family OOP max before not having to pay. This was in large part why I switched to my employer-provided insurance, as I usually reach the max, but my partner does not.
posted by loop at 5:40 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Any vaccines you're lacking?
posted by teremala at 6:20 PM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Another vote for having any moles or skin tags looked at by a qualified specialist for possible skin cancer.
Vision and hearing examinations.
Dental examination.
posted by TrishaU at 6:42 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Do you have any reason to suspect you could use a sleep study?
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:58 PM on October 25, 2018

I get that the temptation is great to get "free" services, but this is one of the ways to help drive up health costs. You are not getting over on the insurance company or the government. Costs are passed on to the consumers through the premiums.

If you need a service or visit, go for it, but if you are doing it just because it will have no cost to you, I suggest you do not.
posted by AugustWest at 12:18 AM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Battery of blood tests, dermatologist skin check, allergist to check to allergies, if you have dental then a cleaning, if you have vision then an eye test. I would not go to a chiropractor... they aren't doctors and, in some states, the licensing requirements are minimal.
posted by AppleTurnover at 12:36 AM on October 26, 2018

Podiatrist for orthotics?
posted by rossination at 6:01 AM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Dental and vision are likely not part of your health policy, and prescriptions may not be either. YMMV, but find out before you go on a spree.
posted by sageleaf at 6:02 AM on October 26, 2018

Last year when I was in this situation I went to an ophthalmologist to touch base on a relatively mild but rare condition I hadn't had checked out in years (like since-before-puberty years). It wasn't a critical thing but it was reassuring to get a doctor to re-check and assure me there haven't been any changes in the treatment protocol - plus it was a situation where it's good to get a little preventive care in the form of periodic checks. Is there anything like that for you?
posted by mosst at 6:33 AM on October 26, 2018

I'm not a big believer in getting pan-tested by the allergist for everything under the sun, but if you by any chance have a penicillin allergy, you can go to an allergist to be tested to see if you really do. The majority of people who have penicillin allergy listed in their medical chart are not truly allergic (usually it's based on a story from childhood that no one remembers well enough to evaluate critically, and people prefer to be extra cautious about allergies). Unfortunately, penicillin and related antibiotics are often the first line treatments for serious infections, and people who cannot receive them due to allergies have worse outcomes from those infections. So, in summary: if you think you're allergic to pencillin, you can make your life easier and potentially improve your odds of fighting a serious infection in the future by going to an allergist and finding out if your allergy is real.
posted by telegraph at 12:15 PM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Re-up your vaccines. Flu, pneumonia, and tetanus are the obvious options. I learned the hard way a few years ago that childhood vaccines can wear off, so maybe check into those, too. (Whooping cough in your 30s sucks. Hard.)
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 4:04 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by Toddles at 11:12 PM on October 26, 2018

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