There’s Still Time To Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits Before The End Of The Year
- November 10, 2017
Imagine this: You walk into a movie theater and buy two matinee tickets for the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The cinema employee hands you your tickets. But instead of actually staying to enjoy the movie, you promptly turn around and walk away from the ticket counter, throwing your tickets in the trash on the way out of the movie theater.
Seems absurd, right? Why would anyone pay for something they won’t use?
Well, that’s actually what happens to thousands of Americans each year on Dec. 31, when many dental insurance benefits expire. These policyholders spend the year paying premiums for dental care they ultimately never use.
The good news, however, is that there’s still time to use your dental insurance benefits! The end of the year is a busy time for Gentle Dental Care, but we care about you and want to help you get the most out of the dental insurance plan you’ve already paid for. After all, an investment in dental insurance is an investment in your oral health!
Read on for some things to consider about your dental insurance policy as 2017 draws to a close. Then, give our Plainville, CT office a call at (860) 479-2397 to schedule an end-of-the-year dental exam and cleaning!
Dental Insurance: Use It Or Lose It
When you or your employer pay dental insurance premiums throughout the year, you’re often paying for a maximum amount of money you can spend on dental care. Most plans will cover the cost of preventative care, like routine cleanings and exams, and many will offer partial coverage for more extensive dental treatments, like root canal therapy or dental crowns.
But with many dental insurance plans, if the year ends and you have not spent that maximum amount, those remaining benefits are lost.
Some flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, have a similar Dec. 31 deadline. In many cases, an FSA is a special account that you set up through your employer. Each enrollment period, you determine how much money you want to put into the account, and that money is taken out of your paycheck before taxes. The money can then be spent on dental care — on things like routine exams or even treatments like braces and dentures that might not be covered entirely by your dental insurance.
In many cases, money put into your FSA during the plan year must be used before Dec. 31. However, some employers offer a grace period or allow some of the money to roll over into the next year.
What To Do If You Think You’re Going To Lose Benefits
If the end of the year has snuck up on you and you still have unused dental benefits, you’re in good company. The overwhelming majority of people with a PPO dental plan end the year with money on the table — nearly 97 percent, according to the National Association of Dental Plans!
If it looks like you’re going to be among that group this year, don’t panic. The first thing you should do is review your plan document or ask your employer about the details of your policy. Not all dental insurance plans expire on Dec. 31. It’s possible you have more time than you thought to use those benefits.
However, if you find out that your benefits will indeed be lost at the end of the year, give us a call. Our highly qualified patient care and treatment coordinator can help you figure out whether your dental benefits can be used at our office. We will work with most major insurance companies!
She can also help you schedule an appointment to help you get the most out of your current dental insurance plan.
At Gentle Dental Care, getting top-notch care shouldn’t be a headache. That’s why we accept several different payment options, including:
- Major credit cards
Understanding your coverage and careful planning are the keys to getting the most out of your dental insurance.
Even if you’re slated to lose out on some benefits this year, here are some things you can do starting Jan. 1 to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck in 2018:
- Consult with your dentist early in the year. You should be seeing your dentist once every six months for a routine cleaning and checkup. When summer or fall rolls around, it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist about any additional dental work you may need. Then, you’ll have plenty of time to schedule follow-up appointments or procedures before the end of the year.
- Don’t put too much money in your FSA. When you’re trying to figure out how much of your paycheck should go into your FSA, don’t just shoot from the hip. Instead, think about what care you’re likely to need for the year so you don’t contribute way more than you’ll realistically use.
- Stay on top of preventative care. Regularly visiting the dentist for checkups and cleanings can help catch dental complications early so you can get the care you need. When you’re committed to preventative dental care, it makes it less likely you’ll need costly curative procedures later on.