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  • Dr. Nahid Afshari

Don’t Leave Your Dental Money on the Table!

Updated: Oct 15


6 Reasons to Use Your Dental Insurance before the End of the Year


Can you believe it is October already? The Halloween decorations are going up. Before you know it, Thanksgiving decorations are already showing up in the stores. So, as we kick off the holiday season with Halloween, now is a smart time to consider your dental insurance benefits. There are only three months until the end of the year, and you want to make the most of your hard-earned money.


Maximize Your Insurance Benefits


You have probably heard the saying, “Use it or lose it!” Well, that could be the case regarding your dental benefits. Each year, you work hard to earn your benefits. But, before you know it, the year is gone and so are your un-used insurance benefits. If your dental insurance plan is on a calendar year, below are (6) reasons why you should make a dental appointment now:


1. Save money


You could save hundreds of dollars by using your dental benefits before the end of the year? While some dental insurance plans run on a fiscal year, most run on a calendar year. Many dental insurance plans are just sitting there with benefits unused and go to waste as soon as the clock strikes midnight on December 31. You might save a significant amount of money by taking care of these appointments now, instead of waiting until 2021.


Dental insurance companies count on making millions of dollars off of patients who do not use all of their insurance benefits. Many of these plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually. If you have not used your full amount, your insurance company is not about to encourage you to do so. Unfortunately, most patients are too busy to sift through their policies to determine what might remain on them. But it is up to consumers to check to see what benefits they have remaining before year-end.


2 Get treatment before your deductible resets


The deductible is the amount of money that you must pay to your dentist out of pocket before your insurance company will pay for any services. This fee varies from one plan to another and could be higher if you choose an out-of-network dentist. However, the average deductible for a dental insurance plan is usually around $50 per year. Your deductible also starts again when your plan rolls over. Many dental insurances provide little to no coverage until you spend a certain amount out of your pocket – your annual deductible. If you’ve used your insurance at all this year, you’ve probably made some progress towards meeting that deductible. You may have already met it completely.


3 Use up annual maximums


With dental insurance, the annual maximum is the limit on how much the dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within one full year. This amount varies by the insurance company, but the average is around $1,000 per year, per person. The yearly maximum usually renews every year (on January 1 if your plan is on a calendar year). If you have unused benefits, these will not rollover.


4 Monthly premiums


If you are paying your dental insurance premiums every month, you should be using your benefits. Even if you don’t need any dental treatment, you should always have your regular dental cleanings to help prevent and detect any early signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, and other dental problems.


5 Dental problems can worsen if left untreated


Furthermore, addressing dental problems now rather than putting off treatment can prevent a dental problem from getting worse. This can save you even more money compared to waiting. By delaying dental treatment, you are risking more extensive and expensive treatment down the road. What may be a small cavity now could turn into a root canal if not treated.


6 Use up your existing FSA contributions


Another good reason to take care of medical and dental work now is to spend any remaining balance in your flexible spending account (FSA). It is an account that you establish through your employer. You may have elected to have some of your pre-tax pay put into your FSA. If you do not use all of your FSA contributions by the end of the year, you will lose them.


Conclusion


There are many ways of addressing dental needs now instead of waiting until next year. Check with your insurer to see what benefits you have used and what you still have available. Also, if you have an FSA, check your balance. Then make sure to take full advantage of your benefits before January 1. So, don't put it off. It will be 2021 before you know it!


If you have any questions about how you can use your benefits at our office, please contact us now.


From everyone here at Fair Oaks Quality Dental,


Happy Halloween!


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