People get busy and life gets in the way until they find themselves nearing the end of the year without getting their dental work done. This is risky. First, because it could open the door to worsening dental problems and emergencies, but even more so because if they don’t use their benefits for the year it will be like throwing money away.
Most dental insurance companies and other benefits are based on annual allowances so unused money disappears on January 1st. For some of you that is not a problem, but it will be for anyone who has incomplete dental treatment or is more susceptible to dental problems.
We see people every year who regret wasting prior benefits when they end up with more needs and emergencies in one year than the insurance will pay. The smarter way is to use available insurance each year which allows you to save money, maximize benefits and keep dental issues from piling up.
Here is what you need to know about dental benefits:
You pay for them – Even if they are provided by an employer, they are part of your benefit package. Pay levels take into consideration benefits provided and you will be paying one way or the other.
Insurance yearly maximums do not roll over – In most cases dental insurance plans allow you benefits up to a yearly maximum. If not used by the end of the year that money is lost. This is especially important if you have diagnosed treatment or risks of dental problems in the future. Not using your insurance one year to take care of dental problems can result in going over your maximum the following year and paying more out of pocket.
Deductibles – Most insurance plans include a deductible at the beginning of each year. If you have already met your deductible and have more treatment to do, getting it done the same year may save you money.
FSA/HSA Taxes – If you pay pre-tax on your HSA or FSA accounts, not using the available funds can result in your paying more taxes.
You can plan major dental work to get more insurance – Sometimes it is possible to plan starting dental work at the end of one year and finishing it in the new year in a way that allows you to get two year’s of benefits towards treatment. This is something that you and your dentist need to talk about and plan together. Your dental office will know if it is possible in your situation.
Dental problems don’t go away – Without treatment they only get more serious and expensive. Using your benefits to take care of dental treatment as it is diagnosed can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Prevent dental emergencies over the holidays – We know it is tempting to try and stick it out through the holidays, but we have seen this idea backfire over and over again. For some reason, if something is bothering you it will likely get worse at the most inconvenient time. We encourage you to come in as soon as you have a problem so we can help you prevent things going wrong when you are extra busy and want to spend time with your family.
Staying current with dental treatment and preventive care while using your benefits wisely is the best way to keep your smile happy and healthy. We can help!
KN Dentistry - Orange, CA - (714) 633-2562