You’ve been paying your monthly dental insurance premiums on time, which means, because of your good record, everything you’ve accrued toward your deductible and annual maximum will just roll over to next year, right? Although it would be nice if it did, that’s simply not the case. If you want to avoid being one of the millions of people who lose more than $900 in unused benefits each year, find out why it’s in your best interest to take advantage of your insurance benefits before January 1, 2020, arrives.
Tick Tock and They’re Gone
The moment the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2019, everything you’ve built up throughout the year will be reset to zero. This means, whether you have $50 or $250 applied to your deductible, any unused money will be sent back to the insurance company and you’ll have to start all over. This can be disheartening for someone who is already paying a monthly premium for access to their coverage.
But if you want to prevent this from happening to you, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to ensure that when the year ends, your benefits will be fully maximized, leaving nothing for the insurance company to take back.
How can you do this? Here’s how:
Embrace Preventive Care
With most policies, your insurance company will likely pay around 100% for preventive services. This includes two annual dental checkups and cleanings, which are vitally important if you:
- Want to pay little-to-no out of pocket costs now to take care of your teeth and gums
- Want to prevent problems from developing in the future
- Want to save money on unnecessary treatments or procedures
Some policies also consider dental x-rays to be preventive care, so it’s important to check with your insurance company to find out what is covered and what is not.
Don’t Lose What You’ve Accrued
When paying for health insurance, how many times have you said, “I’ll hold off on that particular surgery until I’ve met my deductible?” Dental insurance works the same way. When you reach your deductible, this is the official start of your insurance company paying more for the services you receive while you keep more money tucked away in your wallet. That dental crown or root canal you’ve been needing can now be scheduled because you’ve met your deductible and the procedure will cost you significantly less than if you wait until next year when you must start all over to meet this golden number.
If you’re unsure how much your insurance company will pay for minor or major restorative services, you will most likely find that for treatments such as fillings, they’ll pay around 70%, while dental crowns or root canals will have them paying close to 50%.
It’s important to remember that insurance premiums can go up with each new year, and your benefits and deductible can change, too, so if you want to avoid the risk of ever-changing dental insurance policies, you might want to go ahead and schedule that upcoming procedure. By taking the necessary steps to maximize your benefits before the end of the year, you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing your oral health is in good shape and so is your wallet.
Don’t waste your dental benefits and don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist about ways to use your plan before 2020. Let your dental team review your policy and help you make the right decisions about your dental care.
About the Author
Dr. Ali Torabi studied zoology and went on to achieve his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma before completing his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Torabi and his staff at Flawless Smile Dentistry want you to take advantage of the numerous dental benefits you’re already paying for, which is why his team can help you navigate your policy and determine when to schedule certain procedures, so you save more money in the long run. Whether you need general, restorative, or cosmetic dentistry, we want to help you reach your smile goals. Contact us at (918) 203-6368 to find out more.