It’s nearing the end of 2018: have you checked your health plan deductible recently to see if it’s been met?
If it has, it means you could realize two major benefits before the year is out: saving costs and getting the orthopedic procedure you need to treat your joint pain.
How does it work? After you have met your deductible, your health plan will pay all or a portion of covered services for the rest of the year, depending on the terms of your individual plan. But — if you wait until January 1, 2019 when your deductible resets to zero, you’ll be paying much more for the same procedure, since you’ll have to first pay out of pocket to meet your deductible.
Minimally-Invasive Orthopedic Procedure May Be an Option
Oftentimes, orthopedic procedures can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. That means if your procedure is performed before the end of the year, your recovery may be quicker than a traditional surgery — so you can be back in even better shape than you were before soon after the New Year begins.
One minimally invasive technique called arthroscopy might be right for you. It can be used to treat a variety of orthopedic conditions and is offered on an outpatient basis. Arthroscopy allows a doctor to see directly into the joint using a small device with a light attached to a very thin tube that is connected to a video apparatus called an arthroscope. This allows a doctor to both diagnose a problem and treat it.
Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery Include:
- Less anesthesia is needed
- Less pain
- Smaller incisions
- Reduced blood loss
- Reduced risk of infection
- No hospital stay
- Faster recovery
- Less scarring
Start Out the New Year with Less Pain
If you are experiencing pain in a specific area, there are procedures you can schedule before the end of the year that can help. For instance:
- Back Pain: There are many different types of back pain, along with a variety of orthopedic procedures for treatment. One is called discectomy, which removes a herniated disk so it no longer pinches a nerve.
- Foot Pain: Bunion surgery and hammertoe correction are examples of orthopedic procedures a doctor can perform that correct a deformity, as well as relieve pain.
- Hand and Wrist Pain: If you are tired of coping with the numbness, tingling and pain that carpal tunnel syndrome is causing, now could be a good time to schedule a carpal tunnel release procedure. During the procedure, a ligament is cut to release pressure on the median nerve causing the pain.
- Shoulder Pain: Rotator cuff tendinitis is a condition that usually occurs over time. An orthopedic surgeon can perform rotator cuff repair surgery to treat it.
How to Schedule Your Orthopedic Procedure
- In order to ensure your orthopedic provider will be able to fit you in the schedule before the end of the year, make your appointment as soon as possible so you do not miss the opportunity.
- Start by scheduling a consultation, if you haven’t already had one. During the consultation, your surgeon will educate you about the procedure and will explain benefits and risks.
- At the end of the consultation, you can schedule your appointment. Your orthopedic surgeon’s staff will help you and will discuss dates that are available prior to the end of the year.
One final tip: If you’re not certain your annual deductible has been met, check your plan statement and call your health insurance provider to confirm.