It’s that time of the year where everything starts to feel a bit warmer even as the air grows colder. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and the steadily growing sound of jingle bells has already started. Sooner than later, it will be 2018, and everyone will have a fresh start. Unfortunately, what many people don’t know is that they are at risk of losing THOUSANDS of dollars in dental insurance benefits at the beginning of the new year. Why is this the case, and how can you make sure it doesn’t happen to you? Your dentist in Rocky River explains how you can avoid this little-known trap and instantly save on your dental care before 2018.
The Big Reset
Dental insurance is something about 60% of the U.S. population uses every year in order to make their essential dental care more affordable. While there are many different kinds of plans, a lot have what is called an annual maximum, which is the highest dollar amount of care it will cover per year, per person. On average, this amount is about $1,250. However, most people only receive about $323 worth of dental care each year, leaving about $927 leftover. The thing is, this annual maximum resets at the beginning of the year, so what happens to that leftover money on January 1st? It goes straight back to the insurance company.
That means the average American with private dental insurance is losing about $1,000 worth of benefits each year. In 2016 alone, dental insurance providers raked in about $150 BILLION worth of unused benefits.
With this in mind, how can you make sure you’re not losing most of your benefits every year?
How to Maximize Your Plan
Dental insurance plans are usually geared more towards services that help people avoid dental problems rather than treat them. This is why preventive treatments like checkups and cleanings tend to be fully or mostly covered while restorative procedures (like fillings, crowns, and bridges) are only partially covered.
For you, this means the best way to use your plan is to simply have it cover your two recommended dental visits each year. Insurance will likely pay for both of them, and there will still be plenty of money left over to cover any restorative work needed.
Or, if you need to have a tooth repaired or replaced, the smartest thing you can do is start the process now so you can use your benefits before they reset. This will help you get the most out of your plan and save on the dental care you need, which is exactly what dental insurance is intended for in the first place.
There’s Still Time!
There’s plenty of time left in the year to use your benefits before your dental insurance will reset and your money will be lost. If you or your children have only had one checkup and cleaning this year, it’s the perfect time to schedule another one. Have a cavity that needs some attention? You can get it taken care of now, and you’ll save money for doing it.
This whole annual maximum thing is something insurance companies obviously don’t want to share with people, but now that you have this knowledge, you’ll know exactly how to take care of your smile and your wallet in the future.
About the Author
Dr. William Eick is a general, cosmetic, and restorative dentist based in Rocky River, OH. He and his team work diligently to make sure their patients completely understand their benefits so that their dental care is always affordable. To learn more about how you can instantly save thousands on your dental care with your insurance, he can be contacted through his website.