Can you believe that 2018 is almost over? In just a few short months, we’ll all be putting our 2019 calendars up, figuring out our taxes, and working on our new year’s resolutions. But before this year comes to its end, you should make room in your schedule for a visit to your dentist in Spring Lake. Doing so will help you maintain a healthy mouth and get the most out of your insurance.
Dental Insurance: Use It or Lose It
It’s standard for dental insurance policies to operate on a calendar-year basis. Every January 1, they give each policyholder a certain amount of money (usually $1,000 to $1,500) to spend on oral health treatments. If any portion of that yearly maximum doesn’t get used by December 31, those funds disappear forever. They don’t roll over to the following year.
A vey small percentage of people meet or exceed their annual maximum, which means that most individuals with dental insurance are losing out on hundreds of dollars’ worth of benefits each year. While that doesn’t mean that you should get dental work done just for the sake of using your insurance, it does mean that you should attend regular checkups and use your coverage to help you afford any necessary restorative work.
How to Maximize Your Benefits
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your dental benefits before the door closes on 2018:
- Schedule a checkup now. If you visit an in-network dentist, preventive care is probably covered at 100 percent. Therefore, you can get your teeth cleaned and examined for nothing out of pocket. If your exam reveals that you need a filling or other restorative treatment, there may still be time to get such work done before the end of the year.
- Plan for major procedures. If you need a complex dental treatment, it will likely take place across multiple appointments. By scheduling some of the work this year and some of the work next year, you may be able to take advantage of two annual maximums rather than just one.
- Don’t forget your FSA. A flexible spending account (FSA) allows you or your employer to set aside tax-free money to use for medical or dental expenses. Most FSAs expire at the end of the calendar year.
- Ask for help. The folks who work at your dentist’s office are experts on how insurance works. They’ll be happy to help you understand your policy and use it to your greatest financial advantage.
Time is running out to get the most out of 2018’s dental benefits! Scheduling a checkup now will benefit your smile and your budget.
About the Author
Dr. Edward J. Dooley has been practicing dentistry for decades. He is happy to provide a broad range of oral health service, from preventive checkups to complex restorative work. If you would like to learn more about our practice or ask us questions about how to use your dental benefits, contact our office at 732-974-2288.