The end of the year is quickly approaching. With only a few months left before welcoming 2021, you may be happy to say goodbye to the last 12 months and all the chaos it caused. But before you break out the party hats and sing “Auld Lang Syne,” you might want to take a look at your dental insurance plan to see if you might be missing out on valuable benefits. If you want to avoid giving even more money to your insurer at the end of the calendar year, listen to a dentist explain what you can do to maximize your coverage while achieving a healthier smile.
Use Your Benefits Before They Expire
The most important thing you need to remember is that your dental benefits will expire at the end of 2020. Since most insurance plans are set up on a calendar year, this means when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, the allotted amount provided to you for your annual maximum will be returned into the hands of your insurer. While they sit back smiling at the billions of dollars coming back into their pockets, you could be losing thousands of your hard-earned money.
How is this possible?
When you enroll in an insurance plan, you agree to pay a monthly premium that grants you access to your available benefits. Because these do not roll over into the following year, the insurer offers you a set amount of money you can use to take care of your oral health. Since it is estimated that less than 3% of people meet or exceed their annual maximum, you could end up paying for a plan you never use, which means more money coming out of your pocket.
How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic
Now that you know why you should use your benefits before the end of the year, let’s look at what you can do in these last few months to maximizing your plan.
Schedule That Second Checkup and Cleaning
Each year, you are allotted two preventive checkups and cleanings. Because of COVID-19, many dental insurance companies are waiving their “six months and a day” rule, which means even if you saw your dentist for the first time two months ago, you can go ahead and schedule your second appointment before the end of the year, and it will be covered. It’s best to check with your insurer first before doing this, as not all are providing this waiver.
Worried about returning to the dentist because of the continued threat of COVID-19? With so many new health and safety precautions being implemented in practices throughout the country, the dentist’s office is one of the safest places you can visit right now.
Start Your Treatment Plan
Do you need a root canal? Is your dentist recommending a tooth extraction? Whatever the treatment might be, it is best to start the process now and take advantage of your annual maximum. If necessary, your dentist may be able to spread out your treatment across calendar years to help you avoid paying more out of pocket.
Check to See if Your Dentist is In-Network
Choosing to see an in-network dentist will only help to save you more money in the long run. For those who accept a variety of PPO plans, this means your dentist has pre-negotiated certain rates when it comes to providing specific services. By selecting someone in-network, you will pay a lower price than those who are out-of-network.
Don’t let 2020 end without getting the most out of your dental insurance benefits. Your smile and your wallet will thank you as you prepare to welcome the new year.
About the Author
The Dental People of Katy, TX, is locally owned and operated. As dedicated dental professionals, we want to help you get the most out of your dental insurance plan. Because services can be costly, especially those that are more complex, our staff can help you maximize your benefits before the end of 2020. Whether you need help understanding the cost of your treatment or are ready to schedule a more extensive procedure that will help you use your annual maximum, our team is here to help. If you want to learn what you can do to prevent the insurance company from taking your hard-earned money, contact us at (281) 769-7648.