If you have dental insurance, you may have used some of your benefits already this year. Unfortunately, it’s more than likely that you haven’t fully maximized your benefits. According to the American Dental Association, the average individual with dental insurance only uses $323 of dental benefits in a given year. This is despite the fact that the average annual maximum reaches as high as $1,250.
Instead of letting the benefits you paid for go to waste, consider learning a few insurance basics and how you can start maximizing from a dentist in Brady!
Why Using Insurance Now Matters
For the majority of dental plans, unused benefits will not carry into the next year. That means any benefits you had in your plan on December 31st will not be available come January 1st. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), any leftover funds will likely expire. In some cases, employers may allow a percentage of funds to be carried over into the next year, but this is typically only at a discounted rate. Either way, you’re going to lose money on benefits if you don’t maximize them now.
It’s also worth mentioning that fees can increase with every passing year. This is mainly due to the rising costs of dental materials. In turn, your co-pays will start to go up in cost, so taking advantage of lower fees now will make all the difference later in the year.
Information on Dental Insurance, HSAs and FSAs
Most dental plans are PPO plans, meaning they are part of a preferred provider network. Dentists will often partner with insurance companies who create contract rates that the dentist agrees too. This in turn creates lower insurance costs and makes paying for treatments easier.
If you have an FSA, now is the time to put those pre-tax dollars towards co-pays and deductibles. FSAs are typically reserved for treatments that treat or prevent dental disease, including cleanings, exams, fillings, sealants, bonding, crowns, and other procedures. Alternatively, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are ideal to use if you are an older patient and have unexpected costs you didn’t realize you’d need to pay for.
How to Get Started Maximizing
Start by contacting either your insurance company directly or the HR manager for your employer. Both can help you understand the nuances and details of your dental plan. These details include your annual maximum and expected costs for certain treatments. You can also learn helpful information by logging into the online account provided by your insurer.
When choosing a treatment, start with preventive procedures like exams and cleanings. If you’ve only been to the dentist once this year, it’s likely that you’re entitled to an additional cleaning and exam. If you have younger family members who are a part of your plan, consider getting them dental sealants and fluoride varnishes for additional protection.
Regardless of the treatment you choose, the worst thing you can do is let benefits go to waste. Schedule an appointment before the year is over!
About the Ritchie Dental Group
The dentists at Ritchie Dental Group want to make receiving care as simple of a process as possible. If you need help understanding your dental benefits or making a payment, their team members will work with you to understand your treatment plan. To get started maximizing your insurance, you can contact them through their website.