Did you know that your dental insurance benefits likely expire at the end of the year and reset on January 1st? It’s true. Just like medical insurance, most dental benefits run on a calendar year and start over each year.
What does that mean for you? You could be missing out on valuable coverage and wasting precious money each year. To learn more about how to use your dental insurance benefits if you reside near Uptown Charlotte, let Genesis Family Dentistry help you understand and maximize your benefits before they run out at the end of the year.
Dental Insurance and Coverages
Dental insurance or a dental plan is a type of healthcare insurance that is used to cover dental care costs. You may purchase a plan on your own through the Health Insurance Marketplace or your employer may provide dental insurance as part of a benefits package. Insurance plans range in cost, types of services, and the number of people covered.
Reasons to Use Your Benefits
Whether you purchase your own dental insurance or your employer covers your benefits, you may be losing money by not using your dental benefits each year. In order to determine the benefits and money you are losing, you need to better understand the terms of your insurance plan.
Your yearly maximum is the most money your dental insurance company will pay for services in a calendar year. Think of it this way, your annual maximum may be $1000. When you have a dental appointment, your dentist bills the insurance company who pays some, if not all, of the bill. Each part that the insurance company pays adds up to covering the annual maximum.
Most people do not fulfill their maximums each year. Unused benefits will not roll over or transfer to the next year. Use the maximum while it is still active, or lose it.
Your deductible is the amount you have to pay before your benefits kick in and your insurance company begins to pay for your services. For example, if you have a $100 deductible, you must pay that amount yourself before your dental plan starts to foot the bill.
Deductibles do not always apply to preventive services which means the insurance company may cover some of these charges. Be sure to check the details of your plan to know what coverages you have. Like your annual maximum, deductibles do not roll over but start fresh each year.
If you pay for your own dental insurance benefits or if you and your employer share the costs, you are contributing to your monthly or annual premium. These are upfront dollars you are putting toward your dental health, money you will not get back. If you pay even part of your own dental premiums, you should definitely be using your benefits. Otherwise, it is wasted money.
In addition, insurance companies often increase their fees at the start of each year. Maximize your benefits before your rates and copays change.
Flexible Spending Accounts
A flexible spending account (FSA) is an amount set aside as reimbursement for medical or dental expenses. As a tax-exempt savings account, distributions are free as long as they are used for qualified expenses.
Not all treatments can be paid for using flexible spending accounts. Typically, treatments or products that prevent or treat dental disease and keep your mouth healthy are eligible for FSA coverage.
Tips to Use Your Benefits
The key to maximizing your insurance benefits is to take advantage of your benefits before they expire. Look over your dental insurance plan to refamiliarize yourself with the details, your coverage, deductible, and yearly maximum.
Prevention is often the best medicine or treatment. With regular preventive dental care, you can often prevent serious issues. Preventive dental services include regular exams, cleanings, x-rays. Many dental plans fully cover preventive appointments. If you are due (or overdue) for an exam, be sure to schedule one before the end of the year. Don’t wait until mid-December to schedule an appointment when there may be fewer openings with your dental office.
Restorative Needs and Coverages
Think about your dental needs beyond routine cleanings. Restorative dentistry refers to the treatments or procedures to restore missing or damaged teeth. Delaying dental care now can create larger, more expensive problems later. Don’t put off dental care. A simple cavity and filling now can turn into a root canal later. Contact your dentist to schedule your preventative and restorative dental procedures.
Schedule an Appointment with Genesis Family Dentistry
Genesis Family Dentistry offers comprehensive general and cosmetic dental care services. Our dentists provide gentle, affordable dental care to suit our patients’ varying needs.
For more information on how to use your dental insurance in Uptown Charlotte and the plans we accept, contact Genesis Family Dentistry today. Schedule your appointment and maximize your dental insurance benefits before they expire.