We’re reaching the end of the year again. That means holiday music, lots of food, friends, and family — and for millions of Americans, the end of dental insurance coverage.
Thankfully, whether you have dental insurance through your job or independently, your benefits are going to renew come January. However, taking advantage of your dental benefits before the end of the year will not only save you money but protect your overall dental health.
Here are four specific reasons why you should use your dental insurance benefits before the year ends.
1. Yearly Maximum will Renew
Your yearly maximum is just that — the maximum amount of money the insurance company is willing to cover on dental procedure. The maximum changes per plan, but usually averages between $1,000-$1,500 per year per person.
Most dental insurance providers cover 100% of preventative dental work. Specifically, your yearly maximum will take care of these costs. Any benefits that you have not used in the duration of a year do not roll over. Whatever you are paying for your premium, you get a set yearly maximum in return.
So why should you rush to get dental work done before the year ends? Wouldn’t it behoove you to wait until your yearly maximum renews, when your dental insurance will cover more?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Most major dental procedures cost much more than what your yearly maximum allows. So if you need anything more than a simple cleaning, you’ll want to rely on other help, such as a Flex Spending Account.
2. Flex Spending Account
A Flex Spending Account (FSA) is a wonderful resource for those who get dental insurance through their employer.
You can set up an FSA through your employer during the open enrollment period. You’ll choose how much money you wish to corral into the account from your paycheck, pre-tax. This is a great way to set aside money that goes toward your dental expenses throughout the year.
These funds generally go toward routine procedures to maintain your dental health: cleanings, dentures, co-pays, etc. Like your yearly maximum, however, the money in your Flex Spending Account does not roll over into the next year. The difference here is that if you don’t use your FSA money, that is your hard-earned money that will be lost forever.
3. Rates and Copays May Increase
You may also want to utilize your dental insurance benefits by the year’s end for reasons outside your control. Dental equipment and materials increase in price. The cost of living goes up in general. These and other price increases raise rates over time — the first of the year is a common time for this to happen.
Taking advantage of your dental insurance before the end of the year is ripe with financial benefits. This may be the most upfront and apparent result of waiting until next year to take care of your dental work.
4. Dental Problems May Worsen
A natural consequence of waiting to take care of your dental work is the fact that your problems may worsen. Dentists recommend that you receive a cleaning every six months for general upkeep; addressing dental emergencies and evident problems should happen immediately.
Here, it is beneficial to spend a little money today in order to avoid huge costs tomorrow. Remember, your body — and especially your mouth — is not infallible; it’s not a question of “if”, but “when” you will have to face dental problems. To protect your health and your wallet, use your dental insurance before the year ends.
Plan For Next Year’s Dental Insurance
We’re reminding you now, in October, to take advantage of your dental insurance before the end of the year. You’ll experience greater dental health and you won’t have to worry about leaving any of your money or benefits out to dry.
But let’s face it — you’ll be much better off if you start planning for next year, now.
Give Foothills or RiverWest Dental a call or schedule online for your last appointment of the year, and talk to us about next year. Make a plan to see your Rexburg dentist on a regular basis over the next twelve months. Doing so will ensure that you keep your benefits, your hard-earned money, and your dental health.