If you have an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan at work, it helps greatly in making dental care and treatments more affordable, but it may pay for only a portion of the dental care costs.
Be sure to make the most of your dental insurance, by actively using your dental coverage before it expires. With a little planning, you can reduce the dental expenses you pay out of pocket, saving you money.
Capitalize On Dental Insurance Benefits For Preventive Care
In general, dental insurance companies cover all, or nearly all, costs for up to two regular checkups and professional cleanings per year. This lets you benefit from full or nearly full dental coverage for basic preventive care, to maintain excellent oral health.
Preventive care like cleanings and fluoride treatments help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns. It is a good example of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. Not only are these dental services better covered by insurance, and cheaper in general, but they may prevent having to pay for more costly treatments, that are usually less well-covered, if dental health is neglected.
Get Restorative Treatment Earlier
Dental benefits often include x-rays and diagnostics with your regular checkup. Any issues you do develop are noticed in the earliest stages, when they are easier and cheaper to treat. Left untreated, a small cavity can spread until a tooth is heavily decayed, but a small filling is a far cheaper and less expensive procedure than root canal therapy.
You benefit in a few ways from getting treated earlier. Obviously, it is less painful and better for your oral health to be treated sooner, but your insurance provider will likely cover a higher percentage of a more general restorative treatment than a more complex procedure. You will need to pay a lesser amount out of pocket because the treatment is cheaper, and more of it is covered by the insurance provider.
Don’t Let Benefits Expire
Unused benefits expire and are wasted.
Each calendar year, you are allotted an annual maximum by your insurance provider. This is the most your insurance company will pay out for approved services during that calendar year. If you don’t use your dental benefits by the end of that time, your unused benefits expire and you can no longer use them. If you need a dental treatment, don’t delay, and get the treatment done.
Maximize Your Dental Insurance With Careful Scheduling Of Treatments
In certain circumstances, if you need dental work that will cost over your annual maximum, and you are near the end of the calendar year, you can schedule one visit before the end of a benefits year, and a second at the start of the new benefits year. In this way, you can make the most of both years’ annual maximums. You should check with your dentist or oral surgeon to make sure that this will not lead to any complications for you.
Use Your Flexible Spending Account To Top Up Dental Insurance Benefits
If you have a flexible spending account, this can be used to pay for any amount not covered by regular dental insurance. Like other dental insurance, the amounts in these accounts expire, too. Some plans may let an unused amount roll over for one year before expiring. Be sure to know your plans, and coordinate accordingly. You can opt to roll over the amounts for a single, major procedure, or be sure to use each year to make sure these amounts do not expire.
Use A Payment Plan For Dental Services If Necessary
If you are unable to afford paying up-front for an unexpected major procedure, don’t forgo the treatment and let your benefits go unused. Ignoring or delaying treatment of oral health problems can lead to larger issues and costs, and possibly an emergency dental visit.
To help patients pay for major procedures, many dentists offer payment plans with low or no interest charged. This lets you obtain the necessary work and benefit from your insurance coverage you do have, but with more affordable payment options.
Another way to cover costs above the annual limit of your insurance plan is with a dental savings plan.
Prioritize Your Oral Health With Regular Dental Care
Dental insurance is there to help make the dental care you need more accessible. Dental insurance plans vary, but make dental services much more affordable. Oral health is important for overall health, so being able to get the care you need is important!
At Gateshead Dental, we help our patients manage their dental insurance plans. We can work directly with your insurance company to direct bill and coordinate the benefits of your dental insurance plan. Our dental team can help you make the most of your dental plan, and provide you with high quality dental care, to keep your teeth and mouth healthy for a lifetime.