We know that dental insurance benefits can be tricky, as it works differently than other types of health-related insurance. Dental insurance can also be expensive for many families, as the nationwide costs of services offered by dental offices have gradually increased over the past several years.
Today, most insured individuals will pay about $1,000 annually for dental insurance coverage. Seventy percent of Americans do not have dental care because of the high costs of dental insurance. However, if you do pay for dental care, make sure that you are fully maximizing your benefits and not letting your money go to waste.
Understand your benefits and options, and make sure you know any limitations before you receive services. For example, does your dental insurance cover all preventive and diagnostic care (known as “Class I” services)? Usually, most dental insurance companies will pay for two routine checkups/cleanings, as well as examinations, during the year at no out-of-pocket expense to the client.
Most plans have what is called a yearly maximum, which is the maximum amount your dental care provider will pay in benefits during their plan year. Although deadlines for yearly maximums vary, most dental insurance companies’ fiscal year run on the calendar year, which means that benefits will end on December 31st. You must, then, use the maximum dental benefits allotted to you for the year, or you will lose what is left of your allocation after this date. In other words, any amount left over from your annual maximum will not rollover to the next year. This means that if you pay dental insurance but do not have regular dental checkups, you will lose several hundreds of dollars each year.
There are several ways that you can make most of your dental care benefits. You can work with your dentist to schedule care on a regular basis, which will also help you avoid delaying necessary treatments. Usually, this means scheduling an appointment every six months for a dental exam and cleaning. An easy way to keep up with your cleanings is to immediately schedule your next appointment during your visit. Also, keep a close eye on the rollover date, and if you do not know the date that your annual plan ends, check with your insurance company. This is also important if you are paying monthly premiums for your dental care insurance.