Get the Most Out of Your Dental Benefits

Most insurance plans include stipulations that try to shift the cost of dental care back onto you, the insured, as much as possible. However, the end of the plan year, which usually coincides with the calendar year, provides an opportunity for you to get the most out of your insurance providers. If you want the best value out of your dental benefits, here’s why you should schedule a dental appointment with AH Smiles in Arlington Heights, IL, before the New Year.

1. The Yearly Max

Most dental insurance plans have an annual maximum coverage cap that resets on the first of the year. Usually, this amount is somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per person, depending on your plan. Because this amount resets in January, it makes sense to use up to your maximum to get the best value from your insurance if you can.

2. Overlapping Years

If you have multiple costly related dental procedures lined up, it is possible to schedule them to start before – and complete after – the start of the New Year. This is a clever way to reduce your out-of-pocket costs by dipping into the maximums of two benefit years.

3. Taxes

If your pay into a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) offered by your employer on a  pre-tax basis, it’s in your best interest to use up your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will be forfeiting any accumulated FSA contributions you don’t use by the end of year deadline. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can also use the balance to benefit your oral health without incurring any tax penalties.

4. Deductibles

Most dental plans require that you pay a specific amount of money out-of-pocket towards your dental services before your benefits start paying. Once you’ve met your deductible, consider scheduling an appointment with AH Smiles for any procedure you may have been putting off. After all, once January 1st rolls around, you’ll be saddled with a brand new deductible to meet.

5. Monthly Premiums

If you are paying monthly premiums for your dental insurance coverage, you should be using those benefits. Many people treat their dental insurance as a safety to deal with the costs of unexpected emergency dental procedures. However, if you don’t currently have any serious dental issues, you should use your benefits to have routine preventative services such as cleanings to detect minor issues before they become serious.

6. Fee Increases

Because of the increasing cost of materials and equipment needed for operations, dental offices must raise their fees from time to time. As the New Year begins, providers often take the opportunity to review their pricing to determine whether fee increases are necessary. If you wait until after the New Year, you may end up paying a higher co-pay. So it is recommended to schedule your appointment in December, before any potential fee increases.

7. Dental Problems Will Get Worse

While it’s common to put off things we don’t want to do, especially dental work that might be uncomfortable, it is not always the best course of action. Unfortunately, the vast majority of dental problems will only get worse with time.  Procrastination often lead to more discomfort and higher costs when you eventually do seek treatment. If you go now, before the end of the year, you are likely to pay less for your treatment. On the other hand, if you wait, you may have to pay more and your dental insurance provider may not be willing to contribute as much.

To learn more about the insurance and payment options we accept at AH Smiles, call our offices at (847) 230-9703.