Use Your Dental Benefits Before You Lose Them

Posted on September 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

We can hardly believe it’s that time of year again, but yes—it’s time to use them or lose them! We’re talking about your dental benefits, of course.

Because you’ve spent good money on your benefits, we want to make sure you are able to receive any dental treatment you may need before the new calendar year starts. So, read on to learn some of the most common questions we get pertaining to end-of-year dental benefits.

How Do I Know If My Dental Benefits Expire at the End of the Year?

Although most dental plans expire at the end of the calendar year, not all of them do.

To find out if your dental benefits expire December 31st, please give us a call. We perform a detailed verification of your benefits and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your plan. You may also contact your dental insurance company or your employer’s human resources department directly for questions about your benefits.

By the way, this advice also holds true if you’re participating in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) with your employer. According to IRS regulations the maximum amount of money in a FSA that can rollover is $500, and anything over that amount is forfeited. So we suggest contacting your plan’s administrator to find out how much money you have left to spend.

How Do I Know If I Have Any Dental Benefits Left?

The easiest way to find out if you have any dental benefits remaining is to call our office and ask! We can research this for you and let you know where things currently stand. Keep in mind, if you have used benefits at another dental provider’s office or at a specialists office earlier in the year, you will need to take this into account.  

You can also contact your dental insurance company directly, and they can tell you if there are pending claims on file that may affect your remaining benefits.  You can also reference the Summary of Benefits booklet that you received when enrolling in your benefits plan, however, be careful. These booklets are often vague and only provide a very general explanation of what is covered with your plan, without getting into specific details of any alternate benefits clauses or other restrictions that may be in place.  When in doubt, it is best to contact your insurance company or employer for a better explanation.

What Dental Services Are Covered with My Remaining Benefits?

There’s no hard-and-fast answer to this.  Every insurance plan is different and has its own coverage levels. Generally speaking, most dental plans cover preventative services at 100%, basic services at 80%, and major services at 50% of the plan allowance. Most plans have an annual maximum benefit they will pay out each year per covered individual–often that amount is $1,000. Additionally, you may be required to meet a deductible before your plan starts to pay.

We suggest that, at a minimum, you schedule any preventative visit for a dental exam, annual x-rays and a cleaning. At this appointment, we’ll be able to identify any treatment needs that should be taken care of before the end of the year.  Additionally, if we have already identified treatment for you, now is the time to get this done. Certain procedures may take more than one visit to complete, and if not completed by the end of the year, may not be paid under the current year’s benefits.

Why Is It Important for Me to Take Care of this Now?

We understand…there isn’t even snow on the ground yet, and we’re already reminding you about your end of the year dental benefits. However, while it might seem like you have all the time in the world to fit in your dentist appointments, November and December will be here before you know it, and our schedule will book up very quickly. This is actually our busiest time of year, because like you, many of our patients are trying to take advantage of their dental benefits before they expire.

So, to make sure you avoid the rush and don’t miss out, it’s a great idea to make end-of-the-year dental appointments now. To do so, you can schedule your visit online or call our office at 614.328.9489 to request an appointment.

We are located at 6304 Scioto Darby Road in Hilliard and offer early morning and evening office hours for your convenience.