Right now, smack in the middle of holiday season, the last thing you want to do is waste money. We know you work hard save where you can, getting the best deal on food, presents and more. Right?
However, what if we told you that by not visiting your dentist you might be wasting up to $600 a year?
“How,” you ask?
If you don’t use your dental benefits before the end of the year, you effectively throw all those monthly premiums you paid right out the window. However, if you’re like many of the patients at Dr. Marchbanks’ Arlington office, you might have thought more than once that navigating your dental benefits can be a little confusing!
Our Arlington, TX team is happy to help you understand what is typically covered with dental benefits. To get you started, here is a little cheat sheet on dental insurance!
Do I have to have dental insurance?
No, dental insurance is not required. However, it traditionally covers preventative care at 100% and then pays a portion of more complex services. While this means it is structured differently than traditional health insurance, you will notice that dental insurance is much cheaper on a monthly basis, and brings a huge sense of security to your family’s overall health.
When do I sign up for dental benefits?
If you are currently not covered by any dental insurance, you can choose a plan during your open enrollment period. If you have employer sponsored insurance, talk to HR about when it is plan election time. Most employers have this open enrollment period right around now, toward the end of the year.
If you buy your insurance through the marketplaces, open enrollment lasts through December 15.
And finally, if you are a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary, it’s important to look at your plan closely since neither traditionally include dental benefits. If you are over 65, you might need to purchase a supplemental plan to ensure you’re covered.
Am I really “leaving money on the table?”
There are several ways you might be leaving money on the table if you’re one of the 42% of Americans who don’t visit the dentist each year. Specifically, if you aren’t taking advantage of your two bi-annual cleaning appointments, you’re ultimately spending money each month on premiums that are going towards nothing.
In addition, if you enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account (a savings account that has to be used for health or dental services), you must use those funds by the end of the year. If you don’t, the money goes away. These funds can be used to cover extra out-of-pocket costs incurred at the dentist.
Networks? And so many other terms?
In the insurance world, a “network” is an organization made up of a group of medical providers—in this case, dentists. A dental benefits carrier uses a network to give clients easy access to a large number of dentists that will accept their insurance. Dentists in the network gain access to a wider range of potential patients that way, too.
Additionally, the dental provider network determines the fee schedule that dentists can accept from an insurance company, which frees both the dentist and the insurance company from the administrative work of determining fee schedules for procedures.
Our Arlington office partners with most major carriers, so give us a call today to discuss options. We look forward to working with you to ensure you are using up all of your benefits! Be sure to get that last 2019 appointment on the books before you miss out!