Most insurance providers include stipulations that try to shift the cost of dental care back onto you. However, the end of the calendar year can offer you an opportunity to get the most out of your insurance providers. If you want the best value out of your dental benefits, here’s why you should schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Leonard Hess at Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry in Monroe, NC (in the Charlotte area) before the New Year.
1. The Yearly Maximum
Most dental insurance plans come with a cap for annual maximum coverage. Usually, this amount is somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per person, and renews every year on the first of the following year. Because this amount resets in January, it is sensible to use up to your maximum if you can.
If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that you pay into pre-tax, it’s in your best interest to use up your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will be giving up any FSA contributions you don’t use by the end of year deadline. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can also use the balance to benefit your oral health without incurring any tax penalties.
3. Overlapping Years
If you have a series of costly related dental procedures that you need, it is possible to schedule them to start before – and complete after – the start of the New Year. This is a good way to reduce your out-of-pocket costs by dipping into the coverage maximums of two benefit years.
Most dental plans require that you pay a specific amount of money out-of-pocket towards your dental services before your benefits start paying. Once you’ve met your deductible, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Hess for any procedure you may have been putting off. After all, once January 1st rolls around, you’ll be saddled with a brand new deductible to meet.
5. Fee Increases
Because of the increasing cost of materials and equipment, dental practices must unfortunately raise their fees from time to time. As the New Year begins, providers usually review their pricing to determine whether fee increases are required. If you wait until after the New Year, you may end up paying more for services than you would this year. So it is a good idea to schedule your appointment in December, before any potential fee increases.
6. Monthly Premiums
If you are paying monthly premiums for your dental insurance coverage, you should be using those benefits. Many people treat their dental insurance as a safety to deal with the costs of unexpected emergency dental procedures. However, if you don’t currently have any serious dental issues, you should use your benefits to have routine preventative services such as cleanings to detect minor issues before they become serious.
7. Dental Problems Will Get Worse
It’s not unusual for people to put off things we don’t want to do, especially dental work that might be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, most dental issues will only get worse if allowed to continue untreated. Your procrastination could lead to more discomfort and higher costs when you finally do seek treatment.
If you see a dentist now, before the end of the year, you are likely to pay less for your treatment. On the other hand, if you wait, you may have to pay more and your dental insurance provider may not contribute as much. To learn more about the insurance and payment options we accept at Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry, call our offices at 704.240.5045.