It’s not too early to think about your dental benefits expiring at the end of the year. Many insurance plans have great benefits you may not know are available to you, allowing you to get treatments you may have previously thought were out of your budget. Learn how to maximize your dental insurance benefits with Northern VA dental practice Ridgetop Dental Group.
1. Spend Your Yearly Maximum
Most dental insurance plans have an annual maximum coverage cap. Usually, this amount is somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per person, with the coverage amount renewing every year on the first of the year. Since this amount resets in January, it makes sense to use up to your maximum if you can.
2. Consider Overlapping Years
If you have series of costly related dental procedures lined up, it is possible to schedule them to start before – and complete after – the start of the New Year. This is a smart way to reduce your out-of-pocket costs by dipping into the maximums of two benefit years. For example, you could start your dental implant treatment in 2020 and complete the restoration in 2021, using benefits from both years.
3. Remember Your Flexible Spending Account Tax Benefits
If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to contribute to out of your pay on a pre-tax basis, it’s in your best interest to use your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will be forfeiting any FSA contribute you don’t use by the end of year deadline. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can also use the balance to improve your oral health without suffering any tax penalties.
4. Meet Your Deductible
Most dental plans require you to pay a specific amount of money out-of-pocket before your benefits start paying. Once you’ve met your deductible, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. X for any procedure you may have been putting off. After all, once January first rolls around, you’ll be stuck with a brand new deductible.
5. Use What You’re Paying For
If you are paying monthly premiums for dental insurance, you should be using those benefits. Many people regard dental insurance as a safety net against high costs related to unexpected emergency dental procedures. If you don’t currently have any serious dental concerns, however, you should use your benefits to have routine services such as cleanings to detect minor issues before they become serious.
6. Take Advantage of Lower Fees
Because of the increasing cost of materials or equipment, practitioners must raise their fees from time to time. As the New Year begins, providers always review their pricing to determine whether fee increases are needed. If you wait until after the New Year, you may end up paying a higher co-pay. So it makes sense to schedule your appointment in November or December, before any potential fee increases.
7. Prevent Worsening Dental Problems
While it’s common to put off things we don’t want to do, especially dental work that might be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the vast majority of dental issues will only get worse with time. Procrastination tends to lead to more discomfort and higher costs when you finally do seek treatment. If you go now, before the end of the year, you are likely to pay less for your treatment. On the other hand, if you wait, you may have to pay more and your dental insurance provider may not be willing to contribute as much.
To learn more about the insurance and payment options we accept at Ridgetop Dental Group, call our office.