It’s unfortunate, but many people purchase dental insurance only to have it expire before they get a chance to use it. They may not get the chance to maximize their benefits for a wide variety of reasons, such as not setting aside time throughout the year to visit or simply because they don’t feel the need to visit the dentist if they’ve already been once that year.
What many people don’t realize is their insurance is going to expire on January 1st. Here’s how you can maximize your benefits with a dentist in Medina before the new year!
Dental Insurance: Truly a Use it or Lose it Scenario
Regardless of the amount you paid for your insurance, chances are it the benefits won’t carry over after December 31st. This is often the case for PPO dental plans, but also applies to those with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs.) Even if your plan does allow you access FSA funds after the new year, chances are you won’t get to use them to the fullest. Funds are typically only usable at a discounted rate.
If you weren’t aware of how big of a problem this is, you’ll want to learn about a study from the American Dental Association focusing on dental insurance. According to their report, the average American with insurance only receives $323 of dental treatment in a given year, despite the average annual maximum being as high as $1,250. That’s over $900 of dental benefits going to waste. Multiply that by 164 million people with private insurance and you’ve got over $150 billion wasted across the United States.
How to Get Started Maximizing
Start by contacting your insurance company directly or getting in touch with your HR manager, depending on where you get your insurance. Both of these sources can inform you on valuable insurance information, including your remaining benefits, your current annual maximum balance and whether you’ve met your deductible or not. They can also answer any general questions you may have.
Once you know what benefits you have left, you can get started scheduling specific treatments. The best place to start includes treatments focusing on prevention such as exams, cleanings, X-rays and fluoride rinses.
Why Prevention Matters in Dentistry
Most dental plans offer coverage for preventive treatments because it shows the insurance company that you care about protecting your oral health. It proves that you’re doing everything you can to reduce your risk of needing more expensive treatment later, which is typical for dental emergencies. Out of all treatments you can get, preventive treatments often offer the best coverage. Depending on the plan, you can expect 80 to 100 percent of the cost to be covered.
If you need to finish a previous treatment, such as a dental crown or filling, dental practices can help you maximize by staggering your treatment going into the next year. This way, you can use whatever coverage you have left now and continue that same treatment plan when your benefits reset.
Don’t let your dental benefits (and money spent into them) go to waste this year. Schedule an appointment with a family dentist in Medina to get started!
About the Author
Dr. Allan J. Milewski earned his DDS degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. His office is in-network with Delta Premier and more than happy to file any claims on your behalf. To learn more about his preventive treatments, you can contact him through his website.