Isn’t it nice to know that you have dental insurance? It’s always there to help you out if you break a tooth or develop a cavity — but that’s not all you should use your benefits for. In fact, if you only visit your dentist in Hamden when you have an oral health problem, you’re failing to take full advantage of your insurance. Let’s discuss a few ways in which you can make sure that you are getting the most out of your coverage.
Schedule a Checkup Now
Each year, your dental insurance provides you with an annual maximum — the greatest amount that your policy will pay out for treatment within a calendar year. That maximum resets every January 1. Whatever portion of your benefits that you don’t use by the end of the year disappears forever.
Scheduling a checkup this fall gives you the opportunity to become aware of any restorative treatments you may need. You may even have time left to have those procedures completed before your benefits expire at the end of December.
Plan for Major Treatments
If your checkup reveals that you need a major dental treatment, the cost of your procedure may exceed your annual maximum. However, since major dental work often requires multiple appointments to complete, you might be able to schedule your treatment across two calendar years. Therefore, you’ll be able to leverage two yearly maximums rather than just one.
Understand How Your Policy Works
Although most dental insurance policies have the same general parameters, the fine print varies from plan to plan. For example, your coverage might have a rollover provision that lets you use some of a previous year’s benefits even after they’ve expired. Other plans require a waiting period of at least 12 months before they will provide any coverage for major treatment. When you take the time to understand your policy, you can schedule your dental work in a way that minimizes your out of pocket costs.
Use Your FSA to Pay for Dental Care
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you are allowed to use those funds to pay for oral healthcare regardless of whether you have dental insurance or not. Keep in mind, though, that just like insurance, FSA funds often expire at the end of a calendar year.
Ask for Help
The office staff at your local dental practice are used to dealing with the nitty gritty details of dental insurance, and they’ll be happy to share their knowledge with you. They can verify your coverage, help you understand how it works, and give you personalized tips on how to maximize your benefits.
2018 is quickly coming to its end! To make sure you get the most out of your dental insurance this year, schedule your next oral health checkup as soon as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Ronald J. D’Andrea is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He is an experienced general dentist and derives great satisfaction from helping his patients maintain healthy smiles. To learn more about Dr. D’Andrea, the other dentists in our practice, or our insurance policies, contact us at 203-288-0951.