How To Use Remaining Dental Insurance Benefits Before They Expire

Expiring Dental Insurance Benefits

As you prepare to kiss the year goodbye, don’t forget to take advantage of your valuable dental insurance benefits before they expire on December 31st. As the end of the year approaches and your annual health benefits come to an end, don’t leave money on the table with your dental health insurance benefits.

If you’ve been putting off the idea of visiting the dentist, here are a few reasons why you should use your remaining dental insurance benefits before they expire.

Check Your Annual Dental Insurance Maximums

Your dental insurance plan gives you a maximum for what can be spent on your annual dental care. This amount varies between insurance companies, and averages around $1,000 per person, per year. These maximums are typically reset at the end of the year. Any unused benefits will be forfeited and will not roll over to the next year.

Maximize Any Out-of-Pocket Deductibles

The amount of money that you are required to pay out-of-pocket before your benefits begin to take effect is commonly referred to as a deductible. Varying between insurance companies, your deductible is outlined in the details of your plan. Deductibles can be higher if your preferred dentist is outside of your network. When your dental insurance renews in January, you will be required to pay your deductible again before you can begin taking advantage of your benefits.

Use Premiums You’ve Already Paid For

Many people who pay for their dental benefits monthly do not fully exercise their ability to use them. If you are paying for dental benefits each month out of your paycheck, you should ensure that you are taking full advantage of your investment. Not using benefits you have already paid for allows for the insurance company to take your money without having to pay anything to your dentist in return.

Watch For Fee Increases

It is common for insurance rates to increase to accommodate the cost of living or increased material costs each year. Before this year’s dental benefits come to an end, remember to use any remaining benefits you may have. An increase in fees can also raise your copay amount, which can make the same treatment cheaper in December than in January.

Address Any Outstanding Dental Issues

By delaying treatment of a decaying tooth or other dental issues, you may be allowing for a more extensive and more expensive treatment to be necessary in the future. What may have started as a small cavity can quickly turn into a root canal or tooth extraction down the road. Taking care of any outstanding dental issues now will save you both time and money in the future.

Commonly Covered Treatments

Dental insurance plans will commonly cover what is considered preventative care. This coverage often includes two professional cleanings and exams per calendar year. Professional teeth cleanings performed by a trained dental hygienist every six months are considered routine care, in addition to exams performed by a dentist. Most standard dental insurance policies will also cover a certain percentage of a restoration treatment based on the predetermined maximum of your specific plan, including:

  • Preventative care, such as bi-annual cleanings, exams, and x-rays
  • Basic procedures, including fillings, root canals, and extractions
  • Fluoride treatments for children
  • Some major procedures, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, and implants


Making The Most of Your Insurance or FSA

Whether you’re paying for dental care through a benefits plan or using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), your current plans will most likely run out on December 31st. Don’t let your hard-earned dollars go to waste, and take advantage of any benefits before they expire for the year.

Prevention is always better than treatments when it comes to your oral health and your pocketbook. Most insurance plans typically pay for 100% of the cost of a preventative appointment. If you have not had your teeth cleaned and examined for a first or second time this year, now is a good time to schedule an appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates. End-of-year dates are booking up quickly, so call us today to schedule your final cleaning of 2019.


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