Use it or lose it. Most dental plans provide a maximum annual benefit. Unused funds expire at the end of the year and do not carry over into the next year. In this way, dental insurance companies control their annual costs. In order to make sure that the treatment you need will be covered to it's fullest potential, we offer a few tips.
Schedule Your Regular Check-Up
When you see your dentist regularly, problems such as cavities and gum disease can be diagnosed early, helping the cost of treatment remain lower than in the case of advanced dental disease. When you treat problems in the early stages, it is less likely that the cost of treatment will exceed your annual maximum benefit. Regular cleanings help prevent many dental problems as well.
Start on Extensive Treatment This Year
If you know that you need extensive dental treatment, or dental work completed on several teeth, it is a good idea to start on it now to utilize the funds available under your policy for this year. For example, if you need six teeth repaired, you may exceed your annual benefit if you were to do all the treatment at once. If you break the treatment up over this calendar year and next, your insurance company will pay up to your annual maximum for the work done in this calendar year, and then again for the remaining work done in the next calendar year.
Understand Your Plan
Dental insurance may be one of the most complicated insurance products to understand. Coverages, deductibles and maximums vary widely and carry specific requirements for coverage as well as exclusions. Read through your plan provisions carefully, or ask your Human Resources manager to explain it to you. An educated dental patient has the power to make the best decisions possible about their dental health.
Ask For a Pre-Determination
Nobody likes financial surprises, unless you are receiving extra money! Your insurance company provides a valuable service for patients who are planning on having dental work completed, which may exceed their annual maximum. Your insurance company will provide a "mock-up" of how your claim would be paid, if it was an actual claim for services rendered. This is the best way to gauge most accurately exactly how much of your treatment will be covered by insurance, and how much you will pay directly. A Pre-Determination is also good documentation to back you up in case the insurance company deviates from the original estimate when paying the actual claim.
Make Your Dental Appointment Today
Schedule your next appointment early enough to get your dental work taken care of before your benefits expire at the end of the year. You pay for your coverage, and deserve to take full advantage of the benefits available to you each year. Maintaining regular cleanings and exams, combined with good dental habits at home will help prevent the need for extensive dental work. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.