If you have dental insurance, then you already know that each year your dental plan gives you a specified dollar amount. This amount is to cover a percentage of all of your procedures, keeping your out of pockets expenses lower. This week we are going to review the basics of insurance benefits to help you take full advantage of your dental insurance.
Dental insurance gives you an allotted amount as a maximum that your dental insurance will pay out for your dental treatment each year. On average, the yearly maximum for dental insurance is $1000. This allotment can be put towards prophylaxis (cleanings) as well as advanced dental treatment. This yearly maximum usually doesn’t carry over from one year to another. Most dental plans work on a calendar year, and this allotted amount expires at the end of the year. If you do not use these benefits, you will lose them.
Dental insurance companies have different policies on deductibles. Some insurance companies apply the deductible to your first visit of the year, whereas some apply them to your first non-preventative appointment. In either case, once you pay your deductible for the year you do not need to pay it again. If you have already paid your deductible for this year, you have an even larger incentive to use your insurance benefits this year as you won’t have to pay your deductible again. By waiting until next year, your deductible will reset and you will pay more out of pocket for your treatment.
If you are paying your dental insurance premiums through your employer, make sure you use those benefits. Even if you have healthy teeth and aren’t in need of dental treatment, you always should have your regular dental cleanings to help prevent and detect any early signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer and other dental problems that may exist. Many dental insurance companies cover preventative services at 90 to 100% of usual and customary fees. Preventative services usually include prophylaxis (your cleaning), diagnostic x-rays and your doctor exam. Most insurance companies pay for their insured’s to visit their dentist two times per year for their routine checkups and examinations.
If you are not a patient at our office (and even if you are), we invite you to come in before year end for a free consultation. This way, you can find out if you have any immediate dental needs as well as determine what may be covered by your insurance before year end. Everyone at our office works hard to help you understand your insurance and make sure you don’t lose any of your insurance dollars. Call our Evanston dentist office today at (847) 864-8151 to set up an appointment.