The end of the year is an important time for patients who have dental insurance. Most plans renew on January 1st which means that most plans’ annual benefits expire on December 31st rather than roll over into the next term so that they could be used in the new year. Here are 5 ways to make the most of your dental insurance so you can avoid missing out on dental care that’s already been paid for or could be obtained at a reduced cost.
1. Schedule Visits in Advance
One of the easiest ways to make the most of your dental insurance is to schedule your regular exams in advance. When you visit your dentist for your next exam, go ahead and schedule the next one before you leave to make it a priority and ensure that you get on your dentist’s schedule at the recommended time. Many dentists’ calendars are booked out months ahead of time so this can save you the trouble of having to wait a few extra months and throwing off your routine care.
2. Use All Your Exams and Cleanings
Many dental insurance plans cover two exams and cleanings annually so that you can get them done every 6 months as dentists typically recommend for healthy patients. When exams or cleanings get put off, you can miss out on free exams and cleanings in the 12 month coverage term that will reset and be unavailable to use the next year.
3. Don’t Put Off Treatment
If you have concerns about your teeth, are experiencing dental discomfort or if your dentist has diagnosed a cavity or other problem and recommended a procedure, it’s important not to delay treatment.
Many insurance plans are structured around a 100-80-50 plan which means that they provide 100% coverage for preventative care such as exams and cleanings, 80% coverage for basic procedures such as filling a cavity and only 50% coverage for more serious or extensive treatments like root canals or tooth extractions. So prevention and early treatment can save you a lot of money, stress and discomfort in the long run!
4. Match Your Maximum Payout
Most insurances promise a maximum payout limit each year and if it’s not used up before the end of the year, the money expires. Call your insurance or check the paperwork to find out what the limit is so that you can make the most of the amount they offer each year.
5. Talk to Your Dentist
Last but not least, one of the best ways to make the most of your dental insurance is to talk with your dentist about which dental care or treatments they’d recommend for you. Once you know the optimum level of care you could obtain for your teeth, you can compare the list with your dental insurance plan’s coverage to see what falls within your plan and make sure it’s scheduled before the annual coverage runs out at the end of the year.
Call our Imperial Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.