November 27, 2019
Americans with private dental insurance lose millions of collective dollars of unused benefits on January 1st each year, and they’re often not even aware of it. The average dental plan restarts at the start of every year, which means that any additional benefits that haven’t been used to improve your oral health will fall back into the pockets of your insurance provider. The best way to save money while remaining healthy is to maximize your benefits by visiting your dentist and learning how your plan works. Read on to learn about coverage, maximums, and deductibles, and how to get the most out of them.
Preventive Dental Care
Most dental insurance policies reward patients for being proactive about taking care of their oral mouth, teeth, and gums. That’s why the average provider covers the cost of two checkups and cleanings with your dentist every year. That way, you can diagnose and treat issues before they have a chance to spread, saving you from the steep out-of-pocket-costs associated with invasive and major treatments. So, to get the most out of your plan, it’s important to schedule both of your fully covered checkups and cleanings before January 1st.
Every year, your dental insurance makes you pay a set amount of fees directly to your dentist before they will contribute to the cost of your treatment. The average deductible is about $50, but once it has been paid, you won’t need to pay again until your plan restarts on January 1st. To stretch your deductible as far as possible, be sure to get all the dental treatments you need before you will be required to pay it again.
Just like the annual deductible, insurance companies also have yearly maximums. These are capped amounts of money that they will pay for your dental treatments in a 12-month timeframe. The average maximum is between $1,000 and $1,500. That means that in order to maximize your benefits, you’ll need to either meet or exceed this number, because any amount that goes unused will vanish. Instead of letting the money disappear on January 1st, use it to get all of the dental treatments you need to optimize your oral health.
Many patients wonder what their dental insurance covers. The average policy uses a 100-80-50 structure, which basically means they cover 100 percent of preventive care, including your two checkups and cleanings, 80 percent of basic treatments like cavity fillings, and 50 percent of major procedures such as tooth extractions and root canals. That means that the sooner you treat a small problem, the less invasive treatment will be required, which means the less money you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket. In short, acting sooner rather than later and keeping up with your preventive dental care can help you have a bigger gift budget for the holidays.
If you have questions about how your insurance plan works, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. They will be more than happy to help you navigate the ins-and-outs of your coverage and find ways for you to maximize your benefits.
About the Practice
At Ryan Dental Group, our dentists provide comprehensive care with an emphasis on preventive dentistry. That means that we want to tackle the small problems before they have a chance to become more severe, saving patients from experiencing discomfort down the road. We also want each of our patients to have access to the high-quality dental care that they deserve, which is why we accept all major PPO dental plans and are an in-network provider with several plans as well. We also offer patients help with financing and provide short-term, in-house payment plans. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning before dental benefits restart on January 1st, visit our website or call 972-527-5001.