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Understand How to Get the Most From Your Dental Insurance

  • September 28, 2018

As the end of the year approaches, you’re probably thinking about year-end responsibilities at work and planning for the holidays at home. Getting dental treatments probably isn’t on your radar – but maybe it should be. If your dental insurance plan is like most, it may cap your annual benefits. You get a maximum amount of money to spend on dental services in a single year, often $1,000 to $2,000. You can’t save it for later. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

We want you to get the maximum benefit from you dental insurance. If you still have insurance benefits left to use in 2018, call us now at 860-479-2397 to schedule exams or other services. In the meantime read our tips for getting the most out of your dental insurance benefits. If you’ve got questions about your insurance or anything else, let us know!

Pick Dental Insurance That Fits Your Family’s Needs

Not everyone gets to choose a dental insurance plan. If you do get a choice, research the options to determine which one will best satisfy your family’s needs. Among the most common types of dental insurance are a PPO and an HMO.

A PPO typically covers the full cost of dental exams, professional cleanings, and other preventive care. For some services, you may be required to meet a deductible and/or  pay a percentage of the treatment cost. Most PPOs allow you to visit the dentist of your choice, but you may pay more for a doctor who isn’t in your insurance provider’s network.

HMOs often don’t have deductibles and may not have benefit maximums. You generally pay a fixed fee for your dental services. An HMO often won’t pay for treatment from a dentist not in its network.

Consider these questions when selecting dental insurance:

  • Is there a maximum annual limit for benefits? If so, what is it?
  • Which treatments are covered? (For example, if you’ve got children or teens, you’d probably like a plan that covers orthodontics services.)
  • Will you pay an out-of-pocket deductible for any services? If so, how much?
  • Is there a waiting period before you can obtain coverage for certain procedures?
  • Can you visit out-of-network dentists? Will that affect your costs?

Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits So You Don’t Lose Them

As mentioned, your dental insurance plan may give you a maximum amount that can be used in a year. It’s often between $1,000 and $2,000, though you should check your plan to know for sure. We strongly encourage you to schedule the maximum number of exams and cleanings your insurance will pay for in a year, usually two. Since your plan likely covers the entire cost, you have nothing to lose.

These visits help us find potential problems in their earliest stages, when they are less costly to treat. You’ll spend less overall and likely not exceed your maximum annual benefits if you keep your teeth in great shape.

We can often help you schedule non-emergency dental services so you won’t exceed your maximum benefits. Say you need two crowns; you can get the first one in late 2018 and wait until early 2019 to get the second one.

Do Some Price Comparison for Dental Services

Prices vary from dentist to dentist. So you may want to check the cost of services at several dental practices – especially if you need a pricey procedure. To research typical costs in your area,  use this good tool from FairHealthConsumer.org.

We’re happy to discuss all of your  treatment options with you so you can pick the most cost-effective one. Prices for a dental crown can vary widely, for instance, depending on which kind of material we use. We’ll help you make the right choice for both your smile and your budget.

You’ve Got Payment Options in Addition to Dental Insurance

If you don’t have dental insurance or you’re facing a large deductible and/or other out-of-pocket expenses for needed procedures, you do have other payment options. For instance, you can use CareCredit, which offers low-interest and no-interest. We accept cash, checks, and major credit cards. We’re happy to work with you to make payment as painless as possible. Call us at 860-479-2397.

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