Many people aren’t aware that every year on January 1st, their dental insurance plan restarts, meaning that any benefits they haven’t used will be lost. Even if you don’t believe you need dental treatments, visiting your family dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings can help you maximize your benefits and keep your mouth healthy. Read on to learn four ways using your benefits now can save you money down the road.
Your insurance company sets an annual cap on the cost of dental services that they’ll pay for, which is called your maximum. The typical amount is between 1,000 and 1,500 dollars, which means that any amount that exceeds this will need to be paid out of your own pocket, and any amount below it will be unused benefits that you’ll lose on January 1st. To maximize your benefits, be sure to either meet or exceed your maximum so they don’t go to waste.
Each year, you have a set fee that you need to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in, called the deductible. Typically, it’s only 50 dollars, but once it’s paid, you won’t have to worry about it again until your plan restarts. Getting all of your dental treatments completed while your fee is paid can save you from unnecessary out-of-pocket costs down the road. If you wait until January 1st to receive any services you need, like a root canal, you’ll need to pay the deductible beforehand.
Just like an apartment lease, every year, your insurance fees, like your deductible and copayments, fluctuate based on the market. Waiting until your plan renews in January is a gamble, because the chances that you’ll be paying larger annual fees is higher. Instead, get the dental care you need while you know how much you’ll be paying out of your own pocket.
Insurance companies set up their plans to reward patients who are proactive about maintaining their oral health. Most providers use a 100-80-50 model, which basically means that they’ll cover 100 percent of any preventive services, 80 percent of basic treatments like fillings, and 50 percent of major procedures such as root canals. Leaving problems unaddressed will only make them worse, resulting in the need for more costly and invasive treatments. Instead, save yourself from unnecessary out-of-pocket costs by taking care of issues while they’re still small. Not only will this save you from experiencing oral pain, but it’ll also keep you from needing to take days off from work to recover.
With the right dentist by your side, it’ll be easy to maximize your benefits, saving you money and optimizing your oral health. Although dental insurance can be stressful to navigate and learn about, it’s worth it to use your investment regularly instead of only in dental emergencies.
About the Author
Dr. Steve Weber has over 15 years of experience in the dental field and is passionate about helping his patients optimize their oral health. He has completed several advanced courses in dental topics, such as implants, to sharpen his skills. As an active member of professional organizations such as the American Dental Association, he is able to stay up-to-date with all of the latest advancements in his field. He also accepts most major providers, including Delta, Ameritas, Aetna, BCBS, United Concordia, and Principle, and even offers dental savings plans. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning and learn how you can get the most out of your dental insurance, visit Weber Family Dentistry’s website or call 219-879-4210.