Its nearly the end of the year and you’ve just realized that you have dental benefits to use. Here are a few tips on using dental benefits before the year is over.
Have you seen your dentist this year? If not, you could be missing out financially! Dental insurance is unlike many insurance policies, and with just over a month left in the year, it’s important to be aware of the differences you may not expect.
In most cases, dental insurance has an annual coverage limit – while the cap varies between plans, virtually all plans have a fixed limit of what it will pay in a given year. The year is almost always January – December, and nearly all of them are “use it or lose it” – if you don’t spend that amount, it does not roll over to the following year.
Some insurance plans reward you for visiting your dentist by increasing your limit for next year if you visit the dentist this year. If your plan does increase your yearly coverage limit, be sure to schedule a visit – even if it’s just a checkup or cleaning – to ensure that you get the most possible financial benefit out of your insurance policy.
If you find that you need a large procedure, perhaps more than your annual limit, talk to your dentist about whether or not they’re able to divide the procedure into multiple visits. In some cases, dentists may be able to split the procedure into parts, and perform one part this year, and then finish the procedure next year. By dividing the work between two visits, one in each year, they can help spread the cost of the procedure between the two years, helping you maximize your insurance coverage and minimize your out of pocket cost.
If you’re unsure of your dental limits, call your dentist – they can work with your insurance company to identify your limits, and help you determine whether or not you have available coverage left that you should spend this year. If you have procedures you’re considering – whether it’s a routine cleaning, tooth whitening, cosmetic procedure, or a more serious procedure such as a crown or implant – speak to your dentist and see if you can squeeze it in before your insurance coverage rolls over in the New Year.