My “Getting Things Done” plan includes making the best use of our medical, dental and vision benefits. You have to be organized, especially when there are five of you on the plans (well, just four now on dental and vision, since Steve turned 23).
However, I made sure that Steve got his glasses and contacts and dental checkup before his birthday in November. That way he’ll be set for a year or so. Hopefully, by then he’ll be working somewhere that has medical, dental and vision. (Fingers crossed!)
I order all our refillable prescriptions through Express Scripts (aka Medco) which saves a bunch.
I’m religious about going in for twice yearly dental exams. The dentist makes it easy by sending postcard reminders. And I’m religious about getting all my annual checkups (physical, mammogram, pap). Our copay is $15 – a small price to pay. And I avoid having to make an extra visit for a flu shot by getting it during my annual physical. It pays to plan ahead!
Lately, I’m focused on keeping close track of our VSP benefits so that we make use of them. We get new lenses every year and new frames every two years. This is especially important for me to keep track of as I need both prescription glasses and sunglasses.
This year I’m eligible for both frames and lenses and today I ordered prescription sunglasses. Our benefit is $75 towards the frame. I found some I liked at $193. Then I found a pair that didn’t have a price. Turns out they are last year’s model (as if I care) and on clearance for $60. So, basically, they’re free. When I found that out, I liked them WAY better than the first pair.
My lenses have a copay of $10, plus I paid for UV tinting and anti-scratch and polycarbonate lenses so that they aren’t so thick (or something to that effect). The total cost came to $90. Not bad. And they’re stylish, to boot!
Next year, I’ll only be eligible for new lenses, but I’m sure I’ll want new frames. I’m not crazy about the ones I’m currently wearing. They were an urgent purchase at the end of 2011, when my old glasses were accidentally pushed off the counter at Nordstrom Rack by the sales clerk. They broke and couldn’t be repaired. This was the day before our New Year’s Eve party. I didn’t have another pair with a recent prescription (because I hadn’t been good about keeping backups). I, literally, had a new pair made while I waited that afternoon at the eyeglass place. (My husband, by the way, called Nordstrom Rack about the situation and they graciously reimbursed us the entire $300 cost! I was suitably impressed.)
Anyway, when I go in to pick up my new sunglasses I’m going to ask the gal when they do the mark downs for their clearance frames. I will put a note in my file to stop in as soon as this happens so I can choose from the largest and freshest selection. I’ll pay for the frames out of pocket, which shouldn’t cost much, and have her hold them until I’m eligible for the lenses. If she’s amenable, I’ll just ask her to hold them for me so that I don’t have to pay for them ahead of time. That would give me the most flexibility, in case I change my mind…