Perhaps you have dental insurance through your employer, or maybe you decided to purchase it on your own. In either case, you might view your policy as a nice “safety net” in case you ever have a dental emergency. However, seeing your coverage in that light means you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars’ worth of benefits every year! Let’s discuss four reasons why you should use your dental insurance before the end of 2019.
Use It or Lose It
Most PPO dental plans operate on a calendar year basis. On January 1, you are given a specific amount of money that you can put toward approved dental services. Usually, that amount is between $1,000 and $1,500. On December 31, if any portion of that money has not been used, it disappears forever. Very few plans — in fact, almost none at all — have a rollover provision that let you use expired benefits in the new year.
Of course, you should not undergo dental treatment that you do not really need just for the sake of using your benefits. But you should keep up with any services that your dentist recommends.
The Low Out of Pocket Cost of Preventive Care
Most dental insurance companies place a strong emphasis on preventive care. Therefore, they typically cover all or most of the cost of routine cleanings and checkups. They might allow you to attend up to two such appointments each year without paying a dime out of pocket.
If you have not had your second checkup this year, it is in your best financial interests to schedule one before the end of 2019. Not only will your appointment make your mouth feel fresh and clean, but it could also save you a significant amount of money down the road by preventing the need for major dental treatment in the future.
You Still Have Time for Restorative Treatment
If your dental exam reveals that you need a filling or other minor restorative treatment, you might still have time to get that taken care of before December 31. Or, if your dentist recommends that you undergo a major procedure that will exceed your insurance’s annual maximum, you may be able to split it up across multiple appointments between this year and next year. Doing so will allow you to utilize two annual maximums rather than just one.
It’s Easy to Use Your Coverage
Dental insurance might seem complicated or intimidating, but using it is easy thanks to the expertise of the staff at your dentist’s office. They are used to dealing with all the nitty gritty details of insurance, and they can help you devise strategies to get as much value as possible out of your benefits, both this year and into the future. They will even happily file your claims for you!
Are you using your dental insurance to the full? If not, now is the perfect time to take a look at your policy and consider how you can get your money’s worth out of it.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Bryce is a general and cosmetic dentist in Potomac Falls. He has undergone advanced training in a number of areas, including orthodontics, dental implant restoration, TMD treatment, and more. He is happy to accept payment from practically any PPO insurance plan. To learn more about Dr. Bryce and our office’s payment policies, contact us at 571-223-6221.