It’s that time of year again! The holidays are right around the corner, and you know what that means. Prepping for Thanksgiving? Getting your holiday shopping done early? Black Friday sales? No! It means you still have time to use your dental insurance benefits before they expire at the end of the year!
Did You Know Dental Insurance Benefits Expire?
Maybe you pay for dental insurance out of pocket. Or maybe you get dental coverage as part of your job’s benefits package. Either way, dental insurance is more like a prepayment plan than how typical medical insurance works.
Most dental insurance policies give you a set spending limit per year. When you need a certain procedure, such as a filling or crown, they’ll pay a set percentage of the fee out of the benefits you are entitled to that year. Once you’ve used up your benefits, everything else would be an out-of-pocket expense for you.
A typical dental insurance plan covers your routine cleanings and dental health check-ups at or near 100%. They might also provide payments for your yearly x-rays and routine imaging, as well as fluoride supplements. They might cover half of the cost of a filling or other restorative work. Every dental insurance plan has its own ins and outs, but you get the idea.
The point is your dental insurance plan likely has a maximum benefit you can use per year. It’s like money in the bank, just waiting to be used. When your plan rolls over, either at the end of the coverage year or (more commonly) at midnight on December 31st, whatever benefits you have left over disappear.
Getting the Most Out of Your Dental Insurance
To maximize your dental insurance benefits, the first step is to know what you’re entitled to! Calling your insurance company will always give you the most accurate information. However, our office can also let you know what treatment needs you have and we can usually tell you how much you have in remaining benefits for the year, too! We’re always working to put affordable dental care within reach and help you get the most out of your dental insurance plan.
Obviously, patients with great dental health might not need to use all their benefits every year, and that’s awesome! But if you see red on your chart, there’s no reason to keep ignoring it while your dental benefits keep disappearing year after year. Using what you’ve paid for also means taking great care of your teeth, so it’s a win-win.
As a side note, if dental anxiety has been keeping you from taking care of your dental health treatment plan, let us know. We offer sedation dentistry options to keep you relaxed and comfortable so you can complete your treatments stress-free.
Be sure you take full advantage of any preventative care throughout the year. Most plans cover cleanings, but there are rules for how much time has to pass between cleanings, or how many cleanings you can have per year. Some plans even cover extra cleanings, so be sure to find out! That way you can really get what you paid for in 2023!
Don’t Forget that FSA!
Some benefits packages come with a Flex Spending Account as well. This is a great way to set money aside to cover certain costs throughout the year, including dental care! An FSA can work alongside your insurance to help pay for the portion your insurance doesn’t cover. These accounts have the added perk that you can usually use them for things dental insurance won’t cover at all. Many FSAs will help cover the cost of things like braces and mouthguards to prevent grinding. Some even allow you to use them to pay for things like tooth whitening and electric toothbrushes!
However, much like dental insurance, your FSA might expire at the end of the year. Some allow for a portion of the funds to roll over into the next year. For the large majority of these accounts, whatever is left will expire, so use it or lose it!
Start 2023 Off Right
You still have some time to use your remaining dental benefits for this year. That means you could start 2023 with a clean bill of dental health! Imagine not needing to worry about that cavity you’ve been putting off. What would it be like to finally get that crown so you could chew without worrying about that crack getting worse? You could get your whole family caught up on their cleanings, so your smiles are bright for Christmas photos!
Call our office to find out how much you still have available for your dental insurance benefits for the year, and what treatments you need. We can help set you up for success in the new year. Our schedules can get a little busy around the end of the year, though, so be sure not to miss your spot! Keep smiling, Orlando!