The last few months of the year are a busy time for most families. Whether you are preparing for family gatherings, gathering paperwork to pay the year’s taxes, or spending your time on other pursuits, your oral health may slip your mind. But you should not let your smile’s well-being fall by the wayside! The end of the year is a perfect time to visit your dentist in Cumming. Not only will doing so benefit your teeth and gums, but it will also help you get your money’s worth from your dental insurance. Let’s discuss how you can get the most out of your policy.
Use It or Lose It
Most PPO insurance policies come with an annual maximum — that is, the highest dollar amount that the company will pay for your care. The maximum is usually around $1,000, but yours will vary depending on your specific plan. Whatever portion of that maximum you don’t use during the year disappears; it doesn’t roll over into the following year.
Sadly, most folks do not even come close to using their entire annual maximum. In fact, according to the National Association of Dental Plans, less than 3 percent of people with PPO dental plans reached or exceeded their plan’s annual maximum. That amounts to billions of dollars of lost benefits dollars every year!
Getting the Most Value from Your Policy
The fact that most people don’t take full advantage of their dental insurance does not mean that you should get treatment you do not really need just for the sake of using your benefits. However, it does mean that you should pause to think about whether you are truly utilizing your plan as you should. Here are a few suggestions to help you get the most out of your policy:
- Schedule a preventive appointment. Most dental plans cover two cleanings and exams each year — at no out of pocket cost to the policyholder. That simple cleaning and exam can play a huge role in preventing major dental problems down the road. In fact, this routine appointment could end up saving you thousands of dollars on more expensive treatments later on.
- Schedule any recommended treatment. You should schedule your preventive checkup ASAP. That way, if your exam reveals the need for further treatment, you may still have time to get that taken care of on this year’s policy rather than next year’s. If you need a major procedure, you may even be able to split it up across calendar years so you can take advantage of two annual maximums rather than just one.
- Know your plan. Most insurance plans cover preventive care at 100 percent, minor services at 70 – 80 percent, and major services at 50 percent. You may also have a deductible or a waiting period. Familiarizing yourself with such details empowers you to use your coverage to your greatest advantage.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 100 million people in the U.S. do not have dental insurance. If you are fortunate enough to have coverage, you should show your appreciation for it! A year-end visit to your dentist can help you get your money’s worth from your policy.
About Our Practice
We are an experienced team of dental professionals with the ability to perform even complex procedures. However, we love it when our patients prevent the need for major procedures by being diligent about caring for their oral health. We happily accept many forms of dental insurance. To discover how we can help you get the most out of your policy, contact Dentistry at Windermere at 770-205-1212.