Many insurance plans include “fine print” that tries to shift the cost of dental care back onto you. However, the upcoming end of the year provides an opportunity for you to get the most value out of your insurance provider. If you want to get the most out of your dental benefits, here’s why you should schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Brent Engelberg at AH Smiles in Arlington Heights, IL or at your local area dentist before the New Year.
1. The Yearly Max
Most dental insurance plans have an annual maximum coverage cap. Usually, this amount is somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per person, with the coverage amount renewing on the first of every year. Since this amount resets in January, it is sensible to use up to your maximum if you can before it restarts.
2. Overlapping Years
If you have a series of costly related dental procedures recommended, 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 own out-of-pocket costs by dipping into the maximums of two benefit years.
If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to contribute to out of your pay on a pre-tax basis, it’s a smart idea for you to use your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will be forfeiting any 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 for the betterment of your oral health without suffering any tax penalties.
Most dental plans require you to pay a specific amount of money out-of-pocket before your benefits will begin paying, called a deductible. Once you’ve met your deductible, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Engelberg for any procedure you may have been putting off. After all, once January first rolls around, you’ll be stuck with meeting a brand new deductible.
5. Monthly Premiums
If you are paying monthly premiums for dental insurance, you should really be using those benefits. Many people view their dental insurance as a safety net against high costs related to unexpected emergency dental procedures. But, even if you don’t currently have any serious dental concerns, you should use your benefits for routine services such as cleanings and exams to find and resolve minor issues before they become serious.
6. Fee Increases
Because of the increasing cost of materials or equipment, dental offices must sometimes raise their fees from time to time. As the New Year begins, providers usually review their pricing to determine whether fee increases are necessary. If you wait until after the New Year, you may wind up paying a higher co-pay. So it is a good idea to schedule your appointment in October, November or December, before any potential fee increases.
7. Dental Problems Will Get Worse
While it’s normal to put off things we don’t want to do, especially dental work that could potentially be uncomfortable, the vast majority of dental issues will only get worse with time if left untreated. Procrastination only leads to more discomfort and higher costs when you finally do seek treatment. If you go now, before the end of the year, you will likely 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, schedule your appointment online or call our office at (847) 230-9703 to start restoring your smile.