As the year comes to an end, you may have an opportunity to take advantage of the remaining benefits on your dental insurance plan. Here are some intelligent ways to maximize your coverage.
Why You Should Act Now
Most dental insurance plans have annual caps that limit your benefits. Once you reach your cap, you are responsible for more out-of-pocket costs. On the other hand, if you haven’t used all your dental insurance benefits for the year, the clock is ticking. Since you can’t carry over your remaining benefits from year to year, you will lose them on January 1. By strategically scheduling treatments before your benefits expire, however, you can fully leverage your insurance coverage to keep your out-of-pocket costs as low as possible.
What You Can Do
Even if your dental health seems fine, you can still cash in on your remaining dental benefits for the calendar year by scheduling a cleaning and exam. While you’re getting an exam, you can ask your dentist if you could benefit from any necessary treatments covered by your insurance.
If you have been putting off a restorative treatment, such as a filling or crown, now is the time to make an appointment. You can also talk to your local pediatric dentist to see if your child can benefit from any recommended treatments covered by your insurance plan.
Again, since your benefits will reset on January 1, it’s important to look at every possible way to save on dental treatments. The last thing you want is to end up with a nagging pain in your mouth the first week of January. By getting a check-up now, your dentist can catch potential problems and repair them before your benefits reset at the start of the calendar year.
Another Smart Way to Save
In certain instances, you may be able to maximize your coverage by splitting up restorative treatments, which often come with higher out-of-pocket costs. If a treatment requires more than one appointment, you may be able to pay for it using your dental benefits from two separate calendar years. Simply schedule the first part of the treatment in December and the second part in January.
Before attempting this, however, you need to talk to your dentist to make sure it won’t put you at risk for complications. You also need to make sure your dentist accepts your dental plan and will have enough availability to schedule each of your appointments within one or two weeks. Although this may not be possible with every treatment; if your dentist approves, you could significantly lower your out-of-pocket costs.
Things to Consider
To fully maximize your dental coverage, you need to make sure you understand your dental plan. You should also call your provider to determine how close you are to your yearly cap. If you still have coverage available, you should take advantage. Since coverage can vary based on whether a treatment is preventative, restorative or elective, ask questions to better understand your available benefits. You can then talk to your dentist and come up with the best possible plan for your unique needs.