It’s hard to believe that 2018 will be ending soon. In a matter of weeks, we’ll be hanging our new calendars on the wall, embarking on our new year’s resolutions, and looking forward to fresh adventures. But before the curtain closes on this year, there are still a few things you may need to accomplish. For example, you should probably schedule an appointment with your dentist in Pasadena. Doing so will help you get the most out of your dental insurance.
Insurance Expires at the End of the Year
It is standard for PPO dental plans to operate on a calendar-year basis. On January 1, you start off with a certain amount of money (usually $1,000 to $1,500) that you’re allowed to put toward approved dental procedures. However much of that money you don’t use by December 31 disappears forever. It doesn’t roll over to the following year. Less than three percent of people meet or exceed their annual maximum, which means that the vast majority of policy holders are losing out on hundreds of dollars’ worth of benefits each year.
Of course, we aren’t saying that you should get dental work done simply because you want to use up your policy’s annual maximum. However, you should be diligent about attending regular checkups so if you do end up needing extra work, you can use your policy to fit your treatment into your budget.
Get the Most out of 2018’s Benefits
Here are a few pointers on how you can maximize your dental benefits this year:
- Schedule a checkup with an in-network dentist. PPO dental plans let you visit any licensed oral healthcare professional. However, visiting an in-network dentist means that your care will be covered at a higher percentage. For example, at an in-network Delta Dental dentist in Pasadena, preventive care may be covered at 100 percent. At an out of network practice, it might be covered at only 80 percent.
- Plan your restorative work. If your checkup reveals that you need some restorative work, there may still be time to use this year’s benefits to complete your treatment. If you need a major procedure, though, you might exceed your plan’s annual maximum. It may be possible to break up the treatment across multiple appointments — and across calendar years. You’ll therefore be able to use two annual maximums instead of just one.
- Ask for advice. When you visit your dentist, talk to the folks in the office about your insurance plan. They’ll be able to help you understand the specifics of your coverage and how it relates to your treatment. You may find that the advice you receive at an in-network practice is particularly insightful.
The clock is ticking on 2018! Use your dental benefits before they expire at the end of the year, and you’ll have a healthier smile and a happier wallet.
About the Author
Dr. Linda Sierra has been practicing dentistry for nearly 40 years. Throughout the decades, she has maintained a focus on providing excellent care and on looking out for her patients’ best interests. Our team is proud to be a Cigna dentist in Pasadena, and we are in-network with other major insurance companies as well. If you would like to learn more about our practice or how we can help you get the most out of your dental benefits, contact us at 713-943-2094.