Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits Before You Lose Them
Dental Insurance Benefits can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year, but only if you use them! Dental insurance plans run on a yearly cycle, some run on a fiscal year while most run on a traditional calendar year.
If you are uncertain about when your dental benefits reset, what your yearly maximum coverage amounts are, or what your annual deductibles are, feel free to contact our friendly benefit specialists who can review your benefits and how they can affect your treatment plans.
As 2018 draws to a close, there are some benefits you should be aware of if your dental benefits run on a traditional calendar cycle.
Top Six Reasons to Maximize Your Yearly Dental Benefits
1. Yearly Maximum Coverage Limits:
Every year most dental plans maximum coverage amount the insurance company will pay towards your treatment. The amount varies between providers, however most plans average $1,000 per person, per year. Dental benefits which follow a traditional calendar year reset the maximum on January 1st of each year. Any unused benefit amounts do not roll over to the following year.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings every six months. During these check-ups, you should speak with your dentist about potential oral health issues that could be treated before the next appointment. Scheduling treatment before the end of the year will allow you to maximize the current year’s benefits allowing you to have the full maximum available for any potential issues that may arise the following year. If you are unsure of your yearly maximum or when your benefits reset, feel free to contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to help you.
2. Annual Deductible:
An annual deductible is the amount your insurance company requires you pay out of pocket before your benefits cover any services. The amount of the deductible can vary between insurance providers but is generally around $50 per year per person. When your benefits reset the deductible will also reset.
3. Flexible Spending Accounts:
A Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, is a special account which allows you to put aside pre-taxed money to pay for certain out of pocket health care costs. While these accounts are a great tool to help pay for medical expenses like oral health care, they also have a set time frame in which they must be used. The amount of time will differ dependent on how your employer has structured the plan. However, once the time frame has ended, any remaining balance in the account could be lost if not used.
Therefore, if you have a recommended dental treatment and the end of your benefit calendar is nearing, it is a good idea to utilize your FSA with your annual insurance maximum to get the oral care you need with the least cost to you.
4. Insurance Premiums:
Generally, dental insurance premiums are negotiated by your employer for your company as a whole rather than on an individual case-by-case basis. Therefore, you are going to pay the same premium if you use all your benefits or never visit a dentist office. With this in mind, you should be using your benefits as much as possible. Even if you are not experiencing pain or require any dental treatment, you should still follow the ADA’s recommended six-month regular exam and cleaning schedule to detect early signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, and other oral health issues.
5. Get Treatment Before Dental Problems Get Worse:
Not all oral health issues cause pain or discomfort in the beginning. Patients sometime believe they can delay dental treatment because its “no big deal.” Unfortunately, the truth is when treatment is not addressed when first identified you risk the issue worsening leading to a more extensive and expensive treatment. A cavity that could have been treated with a small Dental Filling can escalate, leading to a Root Canal and/or a Dental Crown for Teeth.
6. Work Sick Days:
Like the other benefits mentioned here, if your employer offers “sick days” as part of your benefit package, you may lose the time if you do not use it. Some employers combine vacation days with sick days, generalizing the time as “paid time off” or PTO. PTO can generally be rolled from one year to the next. However sick days are commonly reset each calendar year with no rollover if you do not use the time.
Most employers will allow you to use your sick days for health care appointments like dental visits. This allows you to truly maximize the benefits from your employer, combining your dental, FSA, and sick days to get the oral health care you need.
If you do not receive sick days or are unable to make a dental appointment during “normal” business hours, we offer convenient appointment times during the week. We schedule appointments Monday through Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturdays from 8am to 2pm to work with your busy schedule.
Maximizing your dental benefits to receive all the treatment you need is the best way to ensure the best oral
health care possible. If you would like to learn more about the details of your dental insurance or schedule an appointment to take advantage of your full benefits, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable dentist office today.