Let’s be honest; having dental insurance is one thing, but utilizing it to the fullest is something else entirely. All too often, patients are unfamiliar with the fine print on their plan, which results in wasted dollars and unused coverage. If this has happened to you, then you may be wondering how to truly maximize your dental insurance benefits. Here are four tips to help!
#1. Attend Both of Your Routine Dental Visits
A solid at-home oral hygiene routine does wonders for your teeth and gums. However, no dental care regimen is complete without regular trips to your dentist. After all, the examination portion of your visit plays a crucial role in preventing dental emergencies, and a professional cleaning is the only way to effectively remove built-up plaque and tartar. That is why most dental plans cover six-month checkups with your dental team. However, if you don’t use them, it is important to remember that they don’t carry over. So, make sure to attend both your routine visits each year!
#2. Use Your Remaining Annual Maximum to Cover Recommended Treatment
After your dentist conducts their initial exam, they may notice a small cavity forming that needs a crown, a decayed tooth that requires root canal therapy, or gum disease that necessitates treatment. Instead of pushing off your dental work until next year, check to see if you’ve met your annual maximum. This is the highest dollar amount your provider will allocate towards your care, and it resets when your plan does. Therefore, don’t hesitate to use it toward your dentist’s recommended treatment!
#3. Utilize Your FSA Dollars for Out-of-Pocket Expenses
A Flexible Spending Account is where an employer sets aside a pre-determined amount of money from an employee’s paycheck for medical-related expenses. Unfortunately, many patients are unaware they can use this reserve for their dental care or forget about it entirely! Since there are typically restrictions that require the funds to be used within a certain time frame, ask your HR department (or whoever handles your benefits) about how much is in your account.
#4. Don’t Forget That Many Dental Plans Reset in January
Perhaps the biggest culprit of unused coverage is that many patients are unaware when their dental plan renews. While each policy is unique, many of them reset in January, meaning you have until December 31st to utilize your remaining coverage. Therefore, if you haven’t visited your dentist within the past six months or you need dental work done, then there is no time like the present to contact your dentist!
About the Author
Since earning her Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Dr. Megan A. Shelton has lived out her passion for helping her patients in Carlsbad (and the surrounding communities) obtain optimal oral health and beautiful smiles. She is proud to be in-network with multiple leading insurance providers, which allows her team to provide you with the high-quality care you deserve while simultaneously maximizing your coverage. If you have any questions about utilizing your dental insurance before the end of the year, visit her website or give her a call at 760-388-6773.