You do your best all year to pay the premiums for your dental insurance, but did you know that, according to the National Association of Dental Plans, only 2.8% of people will ever reach or exceed the annual maximum allowed by their policies? You don’t want to miss out on the benefits that you’ve earned – especially when they could be keeping your smile bright and healthy! Read on to learn more about getting the most out of your end of year benefits.
Why Do You Need to Use Benefits Now?
The annual maximum is the amount set aside by your insurance company each year to help pay for dental services; it’s different for each company, but you can usually expect around $1,000 in coverage. However, it’s important to realize that once your plan resets next year, any remaining benefits will not be carried over. No matter if you had $500 or only $5, the insurance company will take back the money.
Every year, people lose hundreds of dental dollars because they didn’t maximize their benefits; this is despite the fact that using those benefits is the most cost-effective option for multiple reasons:
- You already paid the premiums, so you should get your money’s worth by taking advantage of your coverage as much as you can.
- If you have met the deductible this year, you can reduce the amount you need to pay yourself by scheduling appointments before January begins.
- For patients with a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA), it’s better to use the year’s entire deduction amount so that you don’t forfeit unused contributions.
- Dental problems almost always get worse when left alone, so using your insurance to pay for treatment now can protect you from higher dental care costs later.
What Can Dental Insurance Be Used For?
Nearly every company will offer different insurance benefits, but typically you can expect your plan to be geared towards preventive care. A typical insurance policy will offer:
- Full coverage for regular dental checkups, cleanings and X-rays
- Partial coverage for “basic” procedures (such as tooth fillings)
- Partial coverage for crowns and other major restorative treatments
If nothing else, you should schedule a dental checkup before the end of the year, especially if it has been six or more months since your last one. Not only will these visits let you use your benefits, but they can also prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health issues that are potentially expensive to treat.
Your dentist might suggest additional treatments depending on what they find during your exam. Be mindful of your benefits and plan carefully; it’s up to you to make a decision that will let you maintain your oral health while still saving money.
About Jones & Knight, DDS
At our San Antonio practices, Dr. Troy Jones and Dr. George Knight can provide your entire family with state-of-the-art dental care. For your convenience, we offer early morning and evening appointments. We’re also happy to accept all PPO dental plans and can file a claim on your behalf. To schedule an appointment at Jones & Knight, DDS, visit our website or call (210) 494-4407.