Did you know that, according to the National Association of Dental Plans, only 2.8% of people with dental PPOs are meeting or exceeding their deductible each year? That means thousands of patients are losing hundreds of dollars that they set aside for dental care. If you want to fully take advantage of your insurance, it’s vital that you use your benefits – or else you’ll lost them at the end of the year!
Why Is It So Important to Use Dental Insurance Benefits?
Most dental insurance policies have a yearly maximum in place. This is the amount of money that they’re willing to pay for your dental care every year; on average, you can expect this amount to be between $750 and $1,500. Leftover money does not roll over once the policy resets at the end of the year. That means that if you paid your insurance premiums but did not meet or exceed your deductible (the amount you need to pay out of pocket before coverage), you will lose the money that was set aside for your care. Thus, if you want to get the most out of your dental dollars, you need to make sure you’re utilizing your benefits to the fullest extent!
What Does Dental Insurance Normally Cover?
Most dental insurance policies will pay most or all of the cost for preventive treatment. That usually includes oral health checkups, teeth cleanings, and X-rays. These appointments are especially important because they help prevent cavities, gum disease and other oral health conditions from occurring. Without treatment, these issues will only become more and more severe, and the treatments they require (such as root canal therapy or even extractions) will become ore expensive. If preventive checkups and cleanings are completely covered under your policy, then you should at the very least use this benefit even if you don’t need any other kind of care.
The coverage that your policy provides for other kinds of treatment varies depending on the type of service and your individual plan. In general, after paying the deductible, you can expect your dental insurance to cover most of the cost of simple procedures like fillings that are meant to keep the tooth healthy. They will also typically pay for about half the cost of major services such as the placement of the dental crown.
So How Can You Make to Most Out of Your Dental Insurance?
First, you need to review your policy and see what benefits you’re entitled to. Next, if you haven’t already had at least two checkups with your dentist this year, you should schedule an appointment right away; in addition to protecting your oral health, this is a good opportunity to ask about other procedures you might benefit from that are covered under your insurance. Take the initiative in making sure that you don’t waste your dental benefits.
About the Author
Dr. Jon Kirlough served as a dental officer in the Navy for three years and earned a Navy Achievement Medal during his service. He offers a wide menu of services, from regular cleanings to dental crowns, and his practice in Cleveland, OH, Kirlough Family Dentistry, is in-network with several major dental insurance plans. To schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (440) 234-2445.