Making Full Use of Your Dental Benefits

| November 12, 2015

time to use your dental benefitsYour list of things left to do before the year ends might look daunting, but if you have not yet taken full advantage of your dental benefits this year, adding that to your list should be a top priority.

Unfortunately, many dental benefits do not carry over into the new year. Therefore, if you have not fully used everything your plan has to offer, those benefits will reset come January.

To make sure that does not happen to you, here are a few things you should know about maximizing your available dental benefits.

Do My Benefits Roll Over or Not?

Every dental insurance plan comes with a yearly maximum, and while that maximum may vary, it renews each year. This means that whatever your coverage is ($1,000 per year is the average), if you do not meet that maximum by January 1, then you have to start over.

Keep in mind that, depending on your plan, your annual maximum may reset on the anniversary of your enrollment, not with the new year.

Why is it Important to Use All My Benefits Now?

Even if you are happy with your oral health, if you are paying an insurance premium each month, you have earned everything that coverage has to offer.

Getting those appointments in now could save you money in another way. Keep in mind that many fee schedules are renegotiated at the beginning of the year. This means that the cost of your treatments could change, increasing your out-of-pocket contribution.

How to Track Your Benefits?

To make full use of your benefits, you need to know what funds are available between now and the new year. Every insurance company is different, but many of them make this information securely accessible on their website.

If that information is not available online, you can call your insurer or read the summary of services you should have received following your most recent appointment. This document should answer any coverage questions you have or at least direct you to where to find your specific benefits.

What Kind of Services Do My Benefits Cover?

If you are unsure as to what services might be covered under your benefit package, make sure to contact us, and we would be happy to inform you. Typically, a dental plan covers bi-annual teeth cleanings, bitewing x-rays periodically, and a full-mouth x-ray once every five years.

A Good Time for Prevention

The remaining months of the year are a great time to schedule any preventative procedures that may fit into your plan. If you have only had one cleaning this year, now is the time to get that other session in.

Keeping up on cleaning and prevention appointments may save you money in the long run as well. Catching a problem, like a cavity, early on can really shave off more costly procedures down the road, not only in terms of medical bills, but also in lost work time, emergency costs, etc.

Spending the money to identify any problems now could help you avoid a procedure next year that could cost more than that year’s benefits altogether.

Even if your calendar is full between now and the new year, consider making some room for that last-minute teeth cleaning or exam before your deductible resets. Doing so could end up saving you a pretty penny come January.