Many insurance plans include restrictions to shift the cost of dental care back onto you, the subscriber. However, the upcoming end of the year offers an opportunity for you to get the most out of your plan. If you’re looking to get the most value out of your dental benefits, here’s why you should schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Natasha Radosavljevic, better known as Dr. Rados, in Clearwater FL before the New Year.
1. The Yearly Maximum
The standard dental insurance plan has an annual maximum coverage cap. Most often, this amount is somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per insured, with the coverage amount renewing every year on January 1st. Since this amount resets upon the New Year, it makes sense to use up to your maximum if you can.
2. Overlapping Years
If your dentist has prescribed a series of costly related dental procedures for you, it is possible to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by dipping into the maximums of two benefit years by scheduling them to start before – and complete after – the start of the New Year.
If you contribute to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) on a pre-tax basis through your employer, it’s in your best interest to use your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will have to forfeit any FSA contributions you haven’t use by the end of year deadline. If you also contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can use the balance to improve your oral health without suffering any tax penalties.
It is very common for dental plans to require you to pay a specific amount out-of-pocket before your benefits start paying for your care. Once you’ve paid your deductible for the year, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Rados for any procedure you may have been putting off. Once the benefit year changes, you’ll have a brand new deductible amount to meet.
5. Monthly Premiums
If you pay monthly premiums for your dental insurance, you should be using those benefits. Many people treat their dental insurance like a safety net against high costs related to unexpected dental emergencies that may arise. But, even if you don’t currently have any serious dental concerns, you should still use your benefits. It’s important to have routine services such as cleanings to treat minor issues before they become serious.
6. Fee increases
The increasing costs of materials or equipment can lead practitioners to raise their fees from time to time. As the New Year opens, it is standard procedure for dental providers to review their pricing to determine if fee increases are needed. If you wait until after the New Year to see a provider, you may end up paying a higher co-pay. It’s a good idea to schedule your appointment in December, before any potential fee increases.
7. Dental Problems Will Get Worse
While it’s understandable to put off doing things we don’t want to do, especially when it might be uncomfortable, the vast majority of dental problems will only get worse with time. Procrastinating can cause more discomfort and you may face higher costs when you finally break down and seek treatment due to the problem being more complicated. If you go sooner rather than later, you may end up paying less for your treatment. On the other hand, if you wait, you may end up paying more and your dental insurance provider may not be willing to contribute as much if they feel the more complicated procedure was preventable.
To learn more about the insurance and payment options Dr. Rados accepts, call our offices at (727) 360-4302.