It's natural to procrastinate and not surprising that every year seems to go by quicker than the previous one. During a time of year when life becomes filled with holiday planning, trips and a end-of-year time crunch, it's understanding that your prosthetic needs become secondary. However, having your prosthesis looked over by a Certified Prosthetist can avoid issues going into the new year and prevent stressful emergencies. We’ve compiled an end-of-year prosthetic checklist to help you stay on track with your prosthetic care.
Check your Health Insurance Benefits: Dial the toll free number on the back of your insurance card and ask whether your deductible has been met and what is your out-of-pocket maximum.
- Deductible: How much you have to spend for covered health services before your insurance company pays anything (except free preventive services)
- Copayments and coinsurance: Payments you make each time you get a medical service after reaching your deductible
- Out-of-pocket maximum: The most you have to spend for covered services in a year. After you reach this amount, the insurance company pays 100% for covered services.
HSA/FSA Spending Accounts: Check the balances of any flexible spending (FSA or HSA) accounts while there is still time to take advantage of year-end amputeestore.com promotions.
If you’ve invested in a flexible savings account (FSA) with your employer, check with the plan administrator to see exactly how much is left in your account and the last day you can use the money without penalty.
Schedule your Prosthetic Preventative Maintenance Appointment: Before your Prosthetist goes on vacation or his/her schedule becomes completely booked, call their office to schedule.
Inspection & Maintenance Checklist: To ensure continued reliable service from your prosthesis, it's always a great idea to have your Prosthetist clean and service each component as per the manufacturer's maintenance checklist. Most components require your Prosthetist to inspect each component for unusual wear.
Simply wearing your prosthesis exposes it to an environment that can corrode, clog and disrupt vital components with dirt and debris. Show your prosthesis some love and make sure all high stress components, ie feet, vacuum pumps, knees and so on are properly cared for and inspected by your Prosthetist. Contact me if you want me to research a specific prosthetic component's maintenance requirements.
How is your prosthetic socket fitting?: There is still time to have major prosthetic work completed this year. Your residual limb is constantly changing while your prosthetic device can only accommodate a finite amount of change through prosthetic socks or adjustable socket and components. If your residual limb has changed significantly and after repeated attempts to adjust your prosthetic socket have proven unsuccessful, then it's time to consider a socket replacement. Especially if you've had services provided during the year and have meet your deductible and out-of-pocket maximums.
Have a game plan for prosthetic emergencies while on vacation. A problem with your prosthesis can feel like a disaster while on vacation enjoying quality time with friends and family. It’s important to anticipate issues and have a game plan before any issues arise. Make sure you have both your prosthetist’s phone number and email if you're traveling locally. However if you're traveling away from your home country, you'll want to consider purchasing inexpensive travel medical insurance. Research IMG for your Travel Medical Insurance needs before your next trip. For international trips it's also nice to have a prepared list of Prosthetists that are within reasonable distance to your hotel.
Following this brief end-of-year prosthetic checklist is an easy way to make sure you maximize your savings in addition to addressing your ongoing prosthetic needs. Wishing you a very happy and healthy, stress-free end of year! :)