A Little-Known Dental Insurance Trick Can Save You Money

A Little-Known Dental Insurance Trick Can Save You Money

new year insurance trick
When it comes to dental insurance, or insurance in general, many of us are quickly baffled. There are so many different types of plans & unfamiliar vocabulary that it often feels like trying to learn a new language. However, there is one important concept about your dental insurance that you should absolutely know, & it can save you money!

There are actually a few sweet spots on the calendar when it comes to getting dental treatments done, & one of them is the beginning of the year. Because your dental benefits don’t roll over from year to year, every New Year you’re granted with a fresh set of benefits. That means no matter how much dental work you had done the previous year, you have new benefits you can use right away this year.

If your dental insurance plan has a deductible (i.e. a total amount you must pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company starts covering your costs), getting treatments completed at the beginning of the year could mean reaching your deductible early. Once you’ve reached your deductible, any treatments you may need later in the year might be covered entirely by your insurance, meaning there will be no out-of-pocket cost for you. By contrast, if you started treatment at the end of the year before reaching your deductible & your follow-up appointments fell in the New Year, you’d be paying some out-of-pocket cost for all of it!

If your dental insurance plan has an out-of-pocket maximum, starting a treatment at the beginning of the year can help you reach that maximum sooner. Once your out-of-pocket maximum has been reached, that may mean that any follow-up appointments you have for your treatment, plus any other treatments or appointments, could be covered 100% by your dental insurance for the rest of year. Also, most dental plans cover your regular teeth cleanings at no cost to you (or a very small co-payment), often regardless of whether you’vereached your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. That means no matter what time of year it is, you’re entitled to teeth cleanings for free with your insurance.

Both of these examples demonstrate why the beginning of the year is a great time to get started on dental work that you may have been putting off. Plus, it may be a great way to get started on your new year’s resolution to be healthier!

Make the Most of Your Dental Insurance Before the Year Ends!

use dental insurance benefits before the end of the yearAs your dental clinic, it’s our responsibility to help guide you through your oral health care so it is as easy & affordable as possible. As a result, we’re dedicated to helping you make the most of your dental insurance, ensuring you get the care you need & you take advantage of every benefit available to you.

Did you know that your dental benefits don’t roll over from year to year? Once you reach the end of the calendar year, your annual dental benefits disappear for good, whether or not you’ve used them.

What do we mean by dental benefits? One of the best examples of a dental insurance benefit are the preventive care services that are usually covered between 80% to 100%, meaning the insurance company pays 80%-100% of the cost of the service . For example, most dental insurance plans give you two teeth cleaning visits each year covered at 100%, meaning you pay nothing out-of-pocket for your dental hygiene visit. Most insurance plans also fully cover at least one set of full mouth x-rays each year.

However, if you’ve visited the dentist for one teeth cleaning this year, that doesn’t mean you get three teeth cleanings next year! Instead, that free cleaning that you skipped goes away at the end of the year & you never get it back!

Another example of your insurance benefits is your annual maximum, meaning the maximum amount that your dental insurance company will pay toward your dental care each year. Annual maximums vary greatly, but say your plan’s maximum is $2,500. If you’ve only used $500 of that $2,500 by the end of the year, the remaining $2,000 disappears & you never get to use it. Essentially, you’re leaving money on the table!

So what should you do if the year is almost up & you still have some of your annual maximum left? Well, this is why the end of the year is a great time to start recommended treatment. First of all, if you haven’t had both your teeth cleanings this year, call us as soon as possible to schedule your second cleaning before the end of the year!

As another example, imagine we told you that you need a crown on one of your molars but you haven’t actually completed the treatment yet. If you continue to put off getting the crown until the beginning of next year, you’ll be throwing away your remaining annual maximum for this year & using up next year’s benefits early instead. That means if you need any other treatment during the course of next year, you will have already used up your annual maximum & will have to pay out-of-pocket for it. Using up this year’s insurance maximum could actually save you money next year by ensuring you don’t hit your maximum too early!

So if you have dental treatment recommendations from us that you haven’t completed yet, give us a call as soon as possible so we can schedule your visit before the end-of-year rush. We’d be happy to help you check to see if you’ve hit your annual maximum yet & help you make the most of the money you have remaining on your insurance plan.