You’re not alone if the thought of navigating your dental insurance coverage and benefits stresses you out. With the right knowledge, you can get the most out of your policy while keeping your oral health in tip-top shape. The only issue is, since your plan restarts on January 1st, you’ll need to act quickly to get the treatment you need before it’s too late. Read on for 4 facts about dental insurance that can help you save money.
Know Your Yearly Maximum
In a 12-month timeframe, your dental insurance sets a capped amount that they will contribute to your treatments and procedure, called the maximum. The average amount is between $1,000 and $1,500, meaning that your dental policy won’t pay more than that to your dentalcare provider. However, if you don’t utilize all of it before January 1st, you’ll be allowing money to fall back into the pocket of your insurance provider instead of using it to optimize your oral health. So, it’s best to either meet or exceed your yearly maximum.
Don’t Waste Your Deductible
Similar to your maximum, your dental insurance also sets an annual deductible. This is a set amount of fees that you have to pay out of your own pocket before your benefits will kick in. The average deductible is about $50, and once you pay it, you won’t have to pay it again until January 1st rolls around. Instead of letting your deductible go to waste by putting off important dental treatments until after your policy restarts, avoid out-of-pocket costs by getting all the procedures you need by the new year.
Utilize Covered Visits
Most dental policies include two covered checkups and cleanings from your dentist every six months. That’s because they want to encourage patients to get the small problems treated before they become more severe, resulting in the need for more costly and invasive treatments. During your semi-annual appointments, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of serious conditions such as oral cancer and gum disease. They’ll also professionally remove tartar and plaque from your gumline and between your teeth, keeping cavities from developing.
Treat Oral Health Problems Sooner Rather Than Later
Your dental insurance provider wants to reward you for being proactive about taking care of your oral health issues, that’s why they structure coverage based on a 100-80-50 model. What that means is that they cover 100 percent of preventive care, including your two checkups and cleanings each year, 80 percent of basic treatments like cavity fillings, and 50 percent of major procedures such as root canal therapy. To save yourself from hefty out-of-pocket costs, it’s best to take care of issues while they require minimally-invasive and easier treatments.
If you want to learn more about your dental insurance coverage or policy, the best place to start is at your dentist’s office. They’ll be able to walk you through the basics and get you in touch with your provider so you can ask any questions that are on your mind. Utilizing your benefits before January 1st rolls around can save you hundreds of dollars while ensuring that your mouth stays healthy and happy.
About the Author
Dr. Nancy Cabansag has been providing her patients with state-of-the-art dental care for over 17 years. She focuses on devoting attention and time to everyone that walks through her doors, so she can best understand and treat the issues they’re facing. She strives to make each of her patients’ visits relaxing and pleasant, so they don’t have to stress about taking care of their oral health. Her office is proud to be in-network with most major PPO plans as well. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Encore Dentistry’s website or call 817-561-2161.