According to the National Association of Dental Plans, a mere 2.8 percent of PPO participants reach or exceed their maximum annually. This means that millions of Americans lose hard-earned money every year by not using their dental insurance benefits. Even those with Flexible Spending Accounts often have benefits that will run out on December 31st.
At Modern Dental of Manhattan, we want to encourage our patients to use up their end-of-year benefits. Not only will this save you from wasting money in the long run, it can also ensure that you receive necessary dental care to keep your teeth and gums healthy for the long haul. Here, our team explores some of the most common questions about dental insurance and explains how to make the most of your benefits.
What does my dental insurance cover?
Because there are so many different plans out there, the answer to this question can vary significantly for every patient. However, preventative services – like cleanings and exams – are covered either partially or fully by most PPO plans. Select restorative procedures are typically covered at least partially as well.
Dental insurance, as a general rule, does not cover cosmetic treatment. Procedures like whitening, veneers, and bonding are viewed as purely elective. As a result, patients usually have to pay out of pocket for those services.
What if I have an FSA?
Flexible Spending Accounts are more versatile. During open enrollment, you determine how much money should be withheld from your paycheck and deposited into your FSA account. In many cases, FSAs work like debit cards. You can use it to pay for a variety of services, including medical and dental procedures. (Keep in mind, however, many FSAs still don’t cover cosmetic procedures.)
In most cases, FSA benefits must be used by December 31st. However, some options provide individuals with a grace period to use up the remaining money. In other instances, you may be allowed to carry over up to $500 per year over into the next year.
If you have an FSA, be sure you understand the stipulations. If you must use your benefits by the end of the year, consider scheduling an appointment at our Manhattan practice.
Tips for Using Your End-of-Year Benefits
The best way to maximize your coverage is to look for ways to streamline treatment and take advantage of benefits before they expire. Here are a few things to consider:
- As aforementioned, most plans pay 100 percent for preventative care. If you have not had two cleanings already this year, schedule an appointment with your hygienist.
- Ask your dentist how to streamline your treatment in a way that makes sense. For example, maybe you’re considering some cosmetic work at the beginning of next year. Use your end-of-year benefits to take care of any restorative or preparatory procedures.
- Find out exactly which procedures are covered. Our financial experts can help you with this. No matter what insurance plan you have, we can file paperwork and obtain cost estimates so you know your options ahead of time.
Schedule an Appointment Today
December is nearly here! Be sure to maximise those benefits so you don’t lose any hard-earned money this year. To learn more about your dental insurance coverage, contact us online or call our Manhattan office at (212) 758-1000 to book an appointment.