Phone (513) 251-5500
September 27th, 2018

Year-Ends Tips to Maximize Your Dental Insurance

Category: dental health

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For the great majority of people, your dental benefits re-set every single year. Said another way, most people have dental benefits that are based on a one-year benefit period, and in most cases, that benefit period is based on our calendar year.

So that means if you haven’t used those benefits up until now, you’ll want to be sure you do use them before the end of the calendar year. If you don’t, you forfeit those benefits and don’t get to use them next year.

Let’s take a closer look at some key ways you can do end-of-the-year planning based on where you are at today.

Taking Advantage of the Benefits You Have

So what are the benefits you can take advantage of before the end of December?

Here’s a list to start:

  • Your regular check-up. Most insurance plans cover two check-ups per year and/or a check-up every 6 months. If you only scheduled one with us this year, or if you canceled one of your check-ups with us recently, the time is now to squeeze it in! Remember, if you don’t use it this year, you lose it. This kind of preventative care is essential to your short-term and long-term dental health, so it’s important not to skip. If you haven’t been able to come in for any of your dental check-ups yet, you still have time to get on our schedule before 2019 rolls in.
  • Other treatments. Have you been waiting on implants, CEREC, or some other, larger service we provide? Think of it this way: if you’ve met your deductible and have not hit your maximum, it could mean you have very low or little-to-no out of pocket expense for the treatment if you fit it in before the end of the calendar year. In other words, now could be a great time to get that treatment you’ve been waiting on. Then, next year, your deductible will re-set and start all over again.
  • Starting a multi-visit treatment you’ve delayed. Depending on the nature of your visit and the status of your deductible for this calendar year, we could also setup a treatment plan that is timed to minimize how much you pay out-of-pocket.For example, if you have a two-part treatment with us, we could split the treatment up between the end of this year and the very beginning of next year, helping you to take full advantage of your insurance benefits within each calendar year. While this may not be as common as the other two ways to save money, it’s still something many people can take advantage of.

Get to Know More About Your Insurance

It’s never a bad idea to get to know more about your insurance policy if you have questions or if you aren’t sure how to maximize your value from your current plan. Consider calling your insurance company to ask more about the type of deductible you have, for example.

If you have a family deductible plan it will work differently than an individual plan; as a result, you could have already hit your deductible and would therefore want to know that as soon as possible.

At the very least, you may want to login to your insurance company’s website online (or call in if you prefer) and see how much you have paid towards your deductible already. Besides being accessible through your insurance company’s website, that’s also something that is often sent to you via your insurance statements. Those typically come in on a monthly basis or quarterly basis, depending on your insurance provider.

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Utilize Those FSA Benefits

Do you have a health plan through your employer? If so, it may be a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA. Think of this as money your employer contributed to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs that are allowed in your specific program, including copays, deductibles, medications or certain out-of-pocket costs for dental work.

Figure out the specifics of your plan, because many have benefits that will go away when your benefit period ends—and again—often times that benefit period is the calendar year.

Remember the ‘Triple Benefit’ of Your HSA

Not to be confused with an FSA, your HSA, or Health Savings Account, has funds that do not expire, but once again, it’s a great route to take to save money while setting yourself up with funds to use on healthcare-related costs.

If you are eligible and have an account, you have the opportunity to benefit from what’s called a “triple tax advantage.” Here’s why it’s a strategy that is appealing to so many people: First, an HSA allows you the chance to contribute money to the account on a pre-tax basis, so all the money you set aside you do not have to pay taxes on.

Second, any earnings within that account that accumulate over time are not taxed. And last, you get to take that money out on a tax-free basis. Not many investment vehicles allow all three of those tax breaks to happen.

So not only do you avoid paying taxes when you contribute money to the account, but you are not taxed on the money you withdraw, either, when you decide to use it on your health. It’s a great way to set aside money you can use on healthcare dollars, whether that is this year or another time in the future.

Make Sure You Take Advantage of All Your Dental Benefits

Since you lose many of these benefits if you don’t use them this year, don’t delay on coming in to see us! If you have any questions about the potential of scheduling treatments you’ve been delaying, the potential costs of any treatments, or if you want to squeeze in your check-up with us, be sure to call us today at (513) 251-5500.

You can also visit our site for online scheduling. The end of year will be here before we know it, so you’ll want to get on the calendar as soon as you can.

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