Did you know that the average dental insurance plan mostly goes unused? According to the American Dental Association, the average American with dental insurance receives only $323 of dental benefits every year, despite having an average annual maximum of $1,250. That means you’re likely leaving about $927 of dental benefits on the table per year.
Luckily, a dentist in Medford is prepared to help you make the most out of the dental benefits you paid for. Keep reading to learn more about this issue and how to solve it!
Use It or Lose It: Dental Insurance
When you buy dental insurance plans, whether it’s from the marketplace or from your employer, you need to use them before the end of the year. On January 1st, your benefits will expire and you’ll need to pay another amount just to use them again. It’s often why dentists refer to them as a “use it or lose it” scenario. This is typically the case for PPO dental plans and Flexible Spending Accounts, also known as FSAs.
Furthermore, the National Association of Dental Plans has determined that only 2.8 percent of participants with PPO dental plans met or exceeded their annual maximum. If you’ve only been to the dentist once this year or you’ve got an unfinished treatment plan, chances are you have benefits to use as well. Of course, it’s understandable if you aren’t sure how to navigate your insurance or what services are covered.
How to Maximize Dental Insurance
Start by determining what your needs are and when you can get them performed. If you just need a dental cleaning, exam or X-ray, this should be relatively easy to schedule before December 31st. If you have unfinished treatments such as a replacement dental filling or crown, keep in mind that you can space this treatment out into the next year and still use your benefits. However, you must schedule the initial treatment prior to the 31st of December.
Once you know your benefits, get in touch with your insurance company, employer or a local dental practice. Each of these groups can help you identify what benefits you have left. Take the time to schedule future visits as well, such as in the summer and fall. Appointments scheduled then will give you more time to maximize the benefits you have.
How Preventive Visits Make a Difference
Preventive visits are not intended to treat those with dental emergencies. In fact, their main purpose, other than to catch disease and remove plaque and tartar, is to help you prevent dental issues from developing into emergencies. Dental emergencies typically cost far more to treat as well, so you’ll be saving money in the process.
Whether you need an X-ray, cleaning, fluoride varnish or all of the above, dental insurance often covers anywhere from 80 to 100 percent of the cost. Schedule an appointment today to get started!
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino earned his DMD degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Him and his team work hard to help patients understand their coverage and receive the best dental care possible. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.