It’s difficult to believe that 2018 is almost over. In just a few short months, we’ll be changing our calendars and trying to remember to write “2019” when we have to put a date on something. But before you become too focused on the new year, there is still some time left in 2018 to take care of important tasks — including making sure that you’re getting all you can out of your dental insurance.
Benefits Expire at the End of the Year
The majority of dental insurance plans work on a calendar-year basis. Between January 1 and December 31, your insurance company provides coverage for oral health services up to a certain dollar amount. Typically, this annual maximum is between $1,000 and $1,500. Whatever portion of that money you don’t use by the end of the year expires; very few plans have a rollover provision that lets you use the previous year’s benefits.
Therefore, if you only visit the dentist once a year for a checkup that your insurance covers at 100%, you could still have hundreds of dollars of leftover benefits that go to waste. Of course, you shouldn’t get dental work done solely for the sake of using your insurance. However, you should get a routine checkup at least twice a year and use your benefits to pay for restorative work when you need it.
Fall is the perfect time to schedule a dental exam. If your dentist notices that you need a filling, crown, or other restorative work, you may still have time to complete your treatment before your yearly benefits expire.
How Your Insurance Relates to Dental Implants
Here at Brand New Smile Dental Implant Center, we specialize in restoring smiles with dental implants. This remarkable treatment admittedly costs quite a bit of money, which is why we always do our best to help patients use their insurance in a way that minimizes their out of pocket costs. When you visit us for your consultation, we can verify your dental benefits and help you understand how they might help you afford your new smile.
We may also schedule your treatment across two calendar years. For example, you may be able to get preliminary work done this year (for example, extractions or gum disease treatment). Then, you can receive your implants and their restorations next year. Timing your procedure in this way will enable you to take advantage of two annual maximums rather than just one.
Are you truly getting the most out of your dental insurance? If you still have benefits remaining for 2018, don’t hesitate to use them so you can maintain a healthy and happy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Tim Stirneman is a general and implant dentist who has been in his field for over 26 years. He is happy to accept most forms of insurance, and the talented team in our office is always ready to help you get the most out of your dental benefits. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about our insurance acceptance policy, contact us at 847-854-7645.