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Maximize Your Dental Insurance Benefits by the End of the Year

Monday - November 5th, 2018
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2018 is almost in the books. And if your dental insurance (like most out there) operates on the calendar year, there may be some unused benefits. That’s because your dental benefits don’t roll over into the new year. Because of that, now is the perfect time to review your benefits and determine if there are any remaining preventive services covered in your plan or additional treatments you might want to schedule before December 31.

Before we move forward, let’s explain a key concept – your deductible. A deductible is the amount you have to pay out of pocket for healthcare before your insurance begins paying for covered services. Hitting your deductible means you’ve paid your share. After that, your out-of-pocket expenses for covered services drops significantly until you reach your annual maximum.

Now here’s an eye-opening stat. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, only 2.8% of people with PPOs meet or exceed their annual deductible amount. Neglecting to use your benefits means that you could be wasting money you and your employer have set aside to cover healthcare costs. Unused benefits might also increase your deductible the following calendar year.

So what should you be thinking about before December 31?

Preventive Care

Most dental insurers cover preventive care visits such as twice-a-year checkups and cleanings. If you haven’t had a routine teeth cleaning in the last six months, there’s no better time to book your appointment.

More Comprehensive Treatments

Keep in mind that your benefits can help offset the cost of more expensive procedures like braces and other specialty services, such as gum disease treatment, root canals, and more. This is especially true if you’ve already met your deductible, but haven’t yet reached your annual maximum.

Talk with your dentist to create a plan to maximize your benefits for comprehensive treatments that may involve a series of visits.

If you’re unsure whether you’ve already met your deductible for this year, contact your insurance provider. And use our Office Locator to see if the office nearest to you accepts your dental plan. BrightNow! Dental offices also provide flexible payment options for patients without insurance. Read more about our offices’ flexible financing options here.