Many insurance plans include requirements that attempt to shift the cost of your dental care back onto you despite their coverage. However, the end of the year provides an opportunity for you to get the most out of your insurance benefits. If you want the best value out of your dental benefits, here’s why you should schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Kevin Welinsky in Towson, MD before the New Year.
1. The Yearly Max
Most dental insurance plans have an annual maximum that they will cover. Most often, this amount is somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per person, with the amount renewing every year on the first of the year. Since this coverage cap resets in January, it makes sense to use up to your maximum for the current year if you can.
2. Overlapping Years
If you need to have a series of costly related dental procedures, it is possible to schedule them to start before – and complete after – the start of the New Year. This is a smart way to reduce your out-of-pocket costs by dipping into the maximum coverage of two different benefit years.
If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to contribute funds pre-tax out of your pay, it makes sense for you to use your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will be forfeiting any FSA contributions you don’t use up by the end of the plan year. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can also use the balance to improve your oral health without being subject to any tax penalties.
Most dental plans require you to pay a specific amount of money out-of-pocket — called a deductible — before they will begin covering your dental services. Once you’ve met your deductible, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Welinsky for any procedure you may have been putting off. After all, once January first rolls around, you’ll be saddles with a brand new deductible you’ll have to meet.
5. Monthly Premiums
If you are paying monthly premiums for dental insurance, you should be using those benefits. Many people view their dental insurance as an emergency measure against high costs related to unexpected emergency dental procedures. If you don’t currently have any serious dental problems, you should still use your benefits to have routine services such as cleanings to treat minor issues before they become serious.
6. Fee Increases
Because of the increasing cost of materials or equipment, dental offices must sometimes raise their fees. As the New Year begins, providers often review their pricing to determine whether fee increases are warranted. If you wait until after the New Year to seek treatment, you may end up paying a higher co-pay. So it makes sense to schedule your appointment in November or December, before any potential fee increase occurs.
7. Dental Problems Will Get Worse
It is common to put off doing things we don’t really want to do, especially dental work that might be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the vast majority of dental conditions will only get worse with time. Procrastination tends to lead to more discomfort and higher costs when you finally do seek treatment. If you see your dentist now, before the end of the year, you are likely to pay less for your treatment and your insurance may cover more. To learn more about the insurance and payment options Dr. Welinsky’s office accepts, call us at (410) 692-8453.