Insurance plans frequently include restrictions to shift the cost of dental care back onto you. However, the end of the year turns the tables and opens up an opportunity for you to get the most out of your insurance coverage. If you want more for your dental insurance dollar, here’s why you should schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Albert Caves of Columbus GA before the New Year.
Maximize Your Dental Insurance Benefits
- The Yearly Max
Dental insurance plans normally mandate an annual maximum coverage cap. This amount usually falls somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per person, with the coverage amount renewing on January 1st. Since this amount resets with the New Year, it makes sense to attempt to use up to your maximum if you can.
- Overlapping Years
If you need a number of expensive dental procedures, it is possible to schedule them to start before – and complete after – the start of the New Year. In this way you minimize your out-of-pocket costs by dipping into the maximums of two benefit years.
If your employer has available as a benefit a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to contribute to out of your pay on a pre-tax basis, it’s in your best interest to use your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will be giving up any FSA contribute you don’t use by the end of year deadline. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you are permitted to use the balance to improve your oral health without suffering any tax penalties.
Most dental plans obligate you to pay up to a specific amount of money out-of-pocket before your benefits start paying for procedures. Once this amount has been met, you should consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Caves for any procedure you may have been putting off. After all, once January 1st rolls around, you’ll have to reach that deductible all over again.
- Monthly Premiums
If you pay monthly premiums for your dental insurance coverage, you should be using those benefits. Many people view dental insurance as a safeguard against high costs related to unexpected emergency dental procedures. However, even if you don’t currently have any serious dental concerns you need addressed, you should utilize your benefits to have routine services such as cleanings. This will expose minor issues before they become major ones.
- Fee increases
The ever-rising cost of materials, equipment and staffing, means that dentists must also raise their fees occasionally. As the New Year begins, dental offices often review their pricing to ascertain whether fee increases are needed to cover overhead. If you wait until after the New Year, you may be saddled with a higher co-pay. For this reason it’s a good idea to schedule your appointment in November or December, before any potential fee increases occur.
- Dental Problems Will Get Worse
While it’s not unusual to procrastinate about things we don’t want to do, especially when that thing is dental work that might be uncomfortable or costly, the vast majority of dental issues will only get worse with time. Delaying can lead to more discomfort and higher costs when you finally do seek treatment. If you see Dr. Caves 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 due to the problem being more serious or complicated and your dental insurance provider may not be willing to cover as much for a more complicated procedure that would not have been necessary if you’d had preventative care.
To learn more about the insurance and payment options accepted by Dr. Caves in his Columbus GA office, call 706.407.4851.
Posted in: HSA expenses