5 Ways to Use Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year

Gentle Dental

Now that fall is here, it’s important to take advantage of your remaining dental benefits before they expire. Here’s why you should talk to your dentist about maximizing your dental coverage.

Make the Most of Your Plan

The vast majority of dental insurance plans include yearly caps that limit your benefits for specified types of treatments. Once you reach this cap, you are responsible for any remaining charges that come as a result of dental treatments. If you’ve already exhausted your insurance coverage for a given year, you will have to pay for any additional treatments. On the other hand, if you haven’t, you should be looking for ways to use this coverage before your plan will reset on January 1. 

Unfortunately, most plans won’t let you roll over any unused coverage to the next year. Since you will lose any unused benefits when the annual calendar resets; it’s best to keep track of your benefits so you can strategically schedule treatments and fully leverage your insurance plan to minimize out-of-pocket costs. 

Maximize Your Benefits

Before you can fully leverage your dental insurance coverage, you need to call your provider to find out how close you are to your annual cap. If you still have enough coverage available, you should take advantage and schedule a dental examination, professional cleaning or restorative treatment before your benefits reset at the beginning of the year. If, on the other hand, you have already exhausted nearly all of your annual coverage, you may be better off waiting on unnecessary treatments until your benefits reset on January 1. 

To fully maximize your dental benefits: 

  1. Get a cleaning to prevent cavities and check for cavities.
  2. Schedule a restorative treatment before your annual cap resets.
  3. Ask your dentist if you could benefit from any treatments covered by your insurance.
  4. See if your child can benefit from any treatments covered by your insurance plan.
  5. Split up expensive treatments (crowns, implants, braces, gum contouring, and other extensive dental treatments) to leverage insurance benefits from two calendar years.

Split Up Treatments

As the year comes to an end, you might be able to maximize your coverage by splitting up certain treatments. For non-preventative treatments, patients often incur higher out-of-pocket costs. Because many of these treatments require multiple appointments, however, you may be able to tap your benefits for two separate calendar years. You can do this by scheduling the first part of the treatment in December and the second part in January. Obviously, this will only work if you can wait a couple of weeks between treatments without risking complications.

Talk to your dentist about the possibility of splitting up a dental treatment so you can leverage your annual benefits after they reset on January 1. While this may not be possible with every treatment; if your dentist approves, you could save a substantial amount of money.

Since insurance coverage can vary based on whether a treatment is elective, restorative or preventative, always call your insurance provider and ask questions to better understand your dental insurance plan. You can then take this information to your dentist and discuss the best ways to maximize your insurance coverage to preserve your dental health.