If you’re not a fan of losing money (and who is?), here’s a sobering statistic that may interest you: Each year, Americans collectively miss out on 152 billion dollars in dental insurance benefits. That works out to just over $900 per person that could otherwise be used for dental care. How does this happen? In most cases, people don’t realize that their benefits don’t roll over at the end of the year and fail to schedule their appointments in time. Fortunately, there are still a couple of months left in 2019, so you still have time to use your insurance to see a dentist in Ellington at an affordable rate. Learn more below about how to get the most from your benefits and improve your oral health at the same time!
First and Foremost, Schedule Early
After confirming when your insurance plan begins and ends (most end on December 31st and begin on January 1st), call a family dentist to schedule as soon as possible. Oftentimes schedules fill up quickly, especially as the year comes to a close, so the earlier you can call, the better. If you need any additional treatment such as dental fillings or having a nightguard made, you’ll have enough time to schedule before you lose your benefits for the year.
Know What Your Plan Covers
Spend some time looking at your plan to see what’s covered. Since it can be difficult to understand insurance benefits, you can also call a family dentist in Ellington for clarification. While each plan is different, here are some common procedures that are usually covered:
- Preventive services – This includes checkups, cleanings, routine X-rays and sometimes professional fluoride treatments, all of which are usually covered at 100%. Most plans cover 1-2 checkups and cleanings per year.
- Basic services – Examples of basic services include fillings and extractions, which are often covered at 80%.
- Major services – Major dental work such as crowns, bridges, and root canals are typically covered at 50%.
Use Your Annual Maximum Strategically
An annual maximum is the amount of money your insurance company sets aside each year to pay for your dental procedures. The average is between $750 and $1,500 per person. Again, this money does not roll over at the end of the year, so if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Start by determining the amount of your annual maximum. Then, after you’ve had a checkup, you can ask a dentist how you can maximize your benefits. In some cases, you may only need minor treatment or even none at all. In other cases, however, you may need more extensive treatment or preventive services, in which case they can recommend strategically scheduling to make the most of your annual maximum.
Remember, dental insurance benefits are almost like “free money.” And you may as well use it to get the dental care you need for a healthy smile as you move into the New Year!
About the Author
Dr. Warren Zahner has been a family dentist in Ellington for over 30 years and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. His office is in-network with Benecare, Anthem, Cigna, and Delta Dental. He and his staff always work with their patients to maximize their coverage, whether their plan is in-network or out of network. If you have any questions about dental insurance, you can contact him via his website.