Budget Friendly Health & Dental Scheduling

24 Jul

 

Easter 2013 019

As a college student I always scheduled all of my checkups-Dental Cleaning, Eye Exam, and Well-Checkup for the first week I was home in May.  That way I could get them over with and enjoy the rest of my summer.   When I got married I continued with this idea and included my husband.  Unfortunately this turned out to be a budget disaster for us!  He also hated the idea of having three appointments in a single week.  Our small budget just couldn’t handle the expense of copays for the dentist and paying for the entire eye exam, contacts & or glasses for two people.  Somewhere in the past almost five years of being married we figured out that we needed to space them out.  Not only is this much easier on our budget but we don’t find ourselves going crazy trying to get everything done within a week.  We set aside a monthly amount in our budget each month for health, dental, and vision expenses.  Spacing out our appointments insures that there will be enough money in our health budget to pay for different services when the bill comes.

If you would like to adopt a similar plan it’s actually quite simple.

  1. For each family member write down exactly which appointments they will need within the next 12 months.
  2. Then write down what each visit will cost you.  In our family everyone has a well check-up which is covered 100% by our insurance (as long as the doctor’s office bills it correctly).  You may want to call your insurance company and find out exactly what sort of Well-Check Ups are covered.  Each family member also goes to the dentist twice a year for a cleaning where we will have to pay a small portion.  Some dental insurances require you to pay a copay where others pay only a set dollar amount towards services.  Brandon & I also both wear contacts and must have an eye exam every year.  We do not have vision insurance so this is one of our biggest expenses because we have to pay for the eye exam and contacts.  If anyone in your family takes prescription medicine they might also need to schedule lab work every three or four months so keep this in mind.

I thought it might be helpful to share what exactly this looks like for our family:

January-Amanda has her well-checkup and lab workup.

February- Brandon & Amanda go together to the dentist and out to eat afterwards.

March-Elijah visits the dentist.

April- Brandon has an eye exam.  He will then try out contacts for a month and we will order a six-month supply at a time.

May-Amanda has an eye exam.  Her contacts will be ordered the next month.

June- Brandon has his annual Well-Check Up at the doctors with labs.  Since this is covered 100% there is money in the budget to cover Amanda’s contacts which are then ordered.

July- Amanda visits the dermatologist.

August- Brandon & Amanda have their teeth cleaned again.

September- Elijah visits the dentist.

October- For the past few years this month has held no appointments but we will soon be adding yearly well-checkups for our new baby girl.  🙂

November-Elijah has his well-check up.

December- We schedule NO appointments during this crazy month and focus on enjoying the Christmas season.  This is also a crazy month to visit the doctor since many people have met their deductible for the year.

I can’t begin to share just how helpful it has been for our family to space out our check-ups.  I hope you find this idea helpful.  We have actually found this schedule to be the most beneficial this year since I am expecting.  I visit the doctor once a month but will soon find myself going every two weeks and then every week.  I am so glad to have so many of our visits over with before our baby comes. 

 

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