Are you using your dental insurance to the full? Many people see their policy as merely a backup plan that will help them financially if they ever face an oral health crisis. However, viewing it that way can actually rob you of the opportunity to derive the greatest value from it. In this blog post, a dentist in Plymouth discusses five simple, easy-to-apply tips that will help you maximize your dental insurance benefits in 2020 and beyond.
1. Attend Regular Checkups and Cleanings
It is standard for most dental insurance policies to allow their customers to attend two cleanings and checkups each year. Often, these services are provided for little to nothing out of pocket. Being diligent about keeping up with your preventive care can spare you from future oral pain and help you save money. If you have not yet had your second — or first — checkup of 2020, it would be wise to schedule it as soon as possible.
2. Do Not Postpone Restorative Services
During your checkup, your dentist might point out that you have a minor oral health problem. It is in your best interests to schedule recommended treatment as soon as you can. In part, this is because of the way dental insurance works. While minor services, such as fillings, are often covered at 80%, major ones may be covered at just 50%. Hence, it is beneficial for your finances if you do not allow dental problems to worsen to the point where you require a major procedure.
3. Remember That Benefits Expire
Most PPO dental insurance plans work on a calendar-year basis. On January 1, 2020, you were given an annual maximum — the highest dollar amount that your insurance company might pay out for approved services throughout the year. At the end of 2020, any unused portion of that maximum will expire. In 2021, you must start over with a new annual maximum and a new deductible. If you still have a significant portion of this year’s annual maximum left, it would be best to use it for recommended services before it disappears forever.
4. Use Multiple Annual Maximums for Major Services
In many cases, major procedures require multiple appointments to complete. If you know you need such a service, and it will exceed your annual maximum, the best time to get started with it is now. Ask your dental team to schedule a portion of it this year and the rest of it in 2021. You will thereby be able to use two annual maximums instead of only one.
5. Do Not Forget Your FSA
Keep in mind that flexible spending accounts (FSAs) usually expire at the end of the calendar year. Consider how you can combine your FSA with your insurance to pay for any necessary dental treatments.
Are you getting as much as possible out of your dental insurance? The above-listed tips can help you to do just that.
About the Author
Dr. Steve Aveni has more than 40 years of experience in dentistry. He provides a broad range of services and is happy to accept payment from most PPO insurance plans. To learn more about Dr. Aveni and how our team can help you maximize your dental benefits, contact us at 508-746-1918.