Dental plans can be complicated, and most patients don’t use theirs to the fullest extent. This can result in thousands of dollars down the drain each year.
Many insurance plans reset at the end of the calendar year, and any unused benefits will expire. Here are three tips to help you maximize your coverage:
Schedule Your Appointments in Advance
Many dental plans reset on January 1st, meaning it’s time to schedule your next biannual appointment. Your dental insurance covers these appointments and can help identify minor oral health issues before they worsen. This preventative measure can save you from more invasive and expensive treatments.
Preventive services like dental cleanings and exams can also help you maximize your benefits. Your dental insurance likely covers these visits at 100%. They are the best way to maximize your coverage, and you should schedule your next appointment before this year’s end.
Prioritizing dental health is essential, and for individuals seeking accessible options, considering dental care with payment plans becomes a practical solution to manage the costs of necessary treatments while maintaining optimal oral hygiene.
Dental insurance also offers annual maximums, the highest amount your insurer will pay for specific approved treatments within a calendar year. Once you hit your yearly maximum, you must pay for the remaining costs out of pocket. If you need a complex treatment, ask your dentist if it can be spread over two calendar years.
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer, you can use these funds for eligible healthcare expenses, including dental care. This is an excellent way to lower your out-of-pocket costs and can reduce your tax burden at the same time. These accounts tend to expire at the end of the year, so it’s essential to use any remaining balance before they are lost.
Consider a Payment Plan
Most dental insurance plans require you to pay a small amount out-of-pocket before the insurance provider begins to cover treatments. This is called a deductible. Most of these plans also come with an annual maximum, which is the most that they will cover for treatments in a given year. These limits typically reset at the beginning of each year, so it’s best to take care of any needed treatment before this deadline passes.
Dental health is just as important as other types of healthcare, so you should ensure that your investment into a premium dental plan is utilized to its fullest. If you aren’t familiar with how your specific plan works, it may be easy to let your benefits go to waste. However, this can be easily prevented with a bit of planning!
While you’re likely familiar with the basics of your dental plan, there are some tips that few people know. For instance, most dental insurance plans offer coverage up to 100% for preventive services, such as cleanings and x-rays.
Visiting your dentist every six months will ensure that you maintain healthy teeth and allow the hygienist and dentist to spot any issues early on before they become more complex. This type of account will enable you to use pretax dollars toward qualified healthcare expenses and reduce your taxable income.
Schedule Your Appointments at an In-Network Dentist
If you have dental insurance, you likely pay a small deductible each year before your coverage kicks in. Once you reach a certain amount, known as your annual maximum, your insurance will stop covering any treatments.
Most Americans don’t even get close to reaching their yearly maximum, which means that a lot of their money is going to waste. Before the end of 2022, schedule any needed treatments to use all your remaining insurance benefits and walk into the new year with a healthier smile and more money in your wallet.
Most dental insurance plans prioritize preventive care, including biannual checkups and cleanings. These appointments allow your dentist to spot minor oral health issues before they become significant problems that require invasive, expensive procedures. Schedule your following two appointments before the year ends so that you can ensure your maximum coverage.
In-network dentists have contracts with insurance companies establishing a set fee for their services. These fees are typically lower than the office’s original rates, which helps to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
To find an in-network dentist, search the provider lists on your insurance company’s or dental plan’s websites. Most dentists list participating insurance providers on their websites, making it easy for patients to locate a nearby in-network practice.
Consider a Flexible Spending Account
Dental insurance can seem confusing. With terms like deductibles, co-pays, and annual maximums, it’s no wonder many people don’t fully grasp their coverage. Yet, a small monthly investment can go a long way to keep your smile healthy and strong.
As the year ends, it’s a great time to ensure you’re making the most of your dental coverage. By following these four simple tips, you can save on dental expenses while ensuring that your oral health is in tip-top shape.
Make an effort to visit in-network dentists.
In-network dentists are pre-negotiated with your insurance provider, meaning they’ll offer you lower rates for the same treatments that other dental providers will charge. In addition, your dental plan may have a higher reimbursement rate for specific procedures when you visit an in-network dentist. As the year comes to a close, be sure to choose an in-network dentist to maximize your benefits.