We understand that it’s August, but it’s time to start thinking about the end of the year. This is especially true if you’re lucky enough to have dental insurance. Most of us with dental insurance have it through our employees. We’re happy to see so many employers offering dental insurance, but dental coverage can be difficult to understand.
Today we want to share a few ways that you can make the most out of your dental coverage.This probably isn’t information your dental insurance providers wants us to share with you, but we see some many patients every year who make the same mistakes with dental insurance. So, below are a few points about dental insurance. Follow these points, and you’ll be able to get more out of your dental insurance.
What Your Dental Insurance Provider Doesn’t Want You to Know
Most dental insurance providers give policyholders an annual allotment to spend on dental treatment. This is usually $1,000 to $1,500, but in reality, most dental providers only pay for half of all treatment. And after you hit your yearly maximum, you’re on your own. Along the way, you need to figure out what treatments your dental office provides. The biggest thing to remember with dental insurance providers is that your yearly allotment does not rollover into the next year. That means that you lose your remaining dental benefits when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31. You pay a monthly premium for your dental coverage, and at the end of the year, it’s taken away from you. In some cases, patients lose benefits and they need them. We see patients all the time who make the mistake of not using their dental benefits.
We recommend that patients resolve their dental problems whenever they arise. Many patients see their dental benefits taken away at the end of the year even though they have unresolved dental problems. That’s a huge mistake, and one that can lead to even more costly dental visits in the future.
Here are some tips you can follow to maximize your dental benefits:
• Don’t skip dental visits. Many dental insurance providers award policyholder two free dental cleanings and exams every year. If you pay for dental insurance, don’t skip an appointment. That means you’re throwing money away. Plus, you get ahead of any potential dental problems.
• Your premiums may change. It’s not uncommon for businesses to change dental providers. We’ve seen patients who get a new dental insurance provider almost every year. A new provider means new premiums. You can protect yourself against this by using your dental benefits before they change!
• Dental insurance providers may cheap out. This happens all the time. We battle with dental insurance companies to provide the necessary care for patients. At Oregon City Family Dentistry, we want to provide the best care and use the best materials. The insurance companies typically want to pay for cheap material. We call this down coding a procedure. Watch out for this!
• Always check your policy. Every dental insurance provider has a list of treatments they will and will not cover. Most general and restorative procedures are covered by dental insurance companies — but only to a certain point. Also check your policy to see if you have time restrictions. Some providers only cover major restorative procedures after you’ve been a policyholder for a year or longer.
We hope you can follow these tips and make the most out of your dental benefits. Our office is always here to answer questions about your oral health. Dental insurance can help you maintain great oral health, but be sure to read the fine print. If you need to plan your second visit of the year, call our office today at 503-917-0523.
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