Your dental insurance is a valuable asset that can help you afford to achieve and maintain a healthy, functional smile. Sadly, though, most people do not use their coverage to the full. While about three-fourths of Americans have some form of dental benefits, the vast majority of those individuals do not even come close to getting all they can out of their plan. What about you? Are you getting as much value as possible out of your insurance? As the end of the year approaches, you should seriously consider the answer to that question. Let’s discuss how you can maximize your 2019 dental benefits.
Use It or Lose It
Most PPO dental plans come with an annual maximum — the highest dollar amount that your insurance company will pay out for treatment within a given year. Usually, that maximum is around $1,000. If any portion of that money remains unused at the end of the calendar year, it does not roll over into the following year. Essentially, your dental insurance is a “use it lose it” resource.
How much of your annual maximum do you have remaining? You can get in touch with your insurance company to find out. Then, you can start planning to use your benefits before they expire on December 31, 2019.
Maximize Your 2019 Benefits
Here are a few specific suggestions on how to get as much as possible out of your 2019 dental policy:
- Go in for a checkup and cleaning. Most dental policies allow patients to attend two preventive appointments each year. The cost of these visits is usually at least 80 percent covered. If you have not gone in for this year’s second checkup, schedule it ASAP.
- Plan for recommended treatment. If your exam reveals any dental issues that require treatment, you might still have time this year to get those taken care of. Or, if you need a major procedure, you might be able to break it up across two calendar years so you can use two annual maximums rather than one.
- Know your plan and your dentist’s policies. Does your plan have a deductible or a waiting period? Which services does it provide coverage for? What is your dentist’s approach to insurance? Will they help you file your claims? Knowing the answers to such questions can help you figure out exactly how to fit your dental care into your budget. At the beginning of 2020, it would be wise to review your policy again because some of its details may change from year to year.
Don’t let your dental coverage go to waste! Take action right now to make the most out of your remaining 2019 benefits.
About the Author
Dr. Devon Conklin is a dentist in Towson who earned her dental degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. She is proud to work as part of the patient-friendly and insurance-friendly team at Conklin & Ward Dental Group. We are a fee for service practice that is happy to help patients file claims with practically any PPO insurance company. To learn more about how we can help you care for your smile and maximize your dental benefits, contact us at 410-583-7010.