Will My Dental Benefits Expire at the End of the Year?
December 06, 2016
Categories: General Dentistry
This year has flown right by, and 2017 is right around the corner. And in the bustle of election season and the holidays, you may have forgotten to get that last dental appointment of the year on the books.
With the new year approaching, you’re probably wondering how the new calendar will affect your dental benefits. How do dental benefits work, when do dental benefits reset – these are questions you’ve probably been asking yourself lately.
Most Dental Benefits Will Expire
The short answer to these questions is no, benefits for most dental coverage plans will not carry over into the new year.
At this point of the calendar, many patients will have reached their deductible, which is how much they will need to pay out of pocket before dental benefits kick in. For most coverage plans, once the new year begins, that deductible will reset, putting you back to square one in terms of what you must pay for dental procedures before insurance covers the rest.
In other words, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Understanding Yearly Maximums
Dental coverage plans often include an annual maximum, which is the maximum amount of dollars the insurance company will cover during a calendar year. The average annual maximum is about $1,000.
How this works is, once you reach your deductible, you have a maximum amount that your plan will absorb – any claims over that maximum will come out of your own wallet.
Keep Your Personal Records Current
Unless you have a grasp on how much you’ve already spent on dental procedures this year, the previous point won’t be of much use. It’s critical that you keep an up-to-date tally of your annual dental expenses.
Thankfully, this is easier to do than ever. Each dental procedure you undergo should include a summary of services, which should include how much your out-of-pocket cost for the procedure was. While your individual plan may vary, you should be able to check specifics on your insurance provider’s website, or at least over the phone.
Avoid Potential Painful & Worsening Issues
Another reason to consider getting your appointments in before the new year is the threat of delayed treatment leading to more painful issues and worsening diagnoses.
If you’re experiencing an oral-related issue—even if it seems small now—it could develop into something more serious down the road. The last thing you’ll want to do is spend the holidays away from home with a bad toothache, or worse.
In addition to issues developing into more serious, painful problems that physically hurt you, the cost of treatment for said issues can rise as well. If we catch a problem early on, chances are you will avoid having to spend more money on a costly procedure or multiple return visits.
The time remaining to take advantage of your 2016 dental benefits is growing short, but there is still time to make an appointment. Our staff at Merion Village Dental will do whatever we can to get you onto the calendar – so schedule online or call us today at 614-443-4400.
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