As the year winds down, amidst the festive cheer and holiday planning, there’s something crucial on the healthcare front that often gets overlooked: your dental benefits. Most dental insurance plans reset on January 1st, which means any unused benefits from 2023 will likely be lost. It’s a perfect time to remind you to make the most out of your dental insurance before the year ends. Here’s why it’s essential and how you can do it.
Understanding Your Dental Plan’s Year-End Reset
Most dental insurance plans operate on a calendar year, with specific yearly maximums. This is the maximum amount your plan will pay for your dental work within one full year. Typically, these benefits, along with deductibles and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) balances, reset as the new year begins.
Why It’s Crucial to Use Your Benefits
- Yearly Maximums: If you haven’t used your allotted amount, it won’t roll over into the next year. Not utilizing these benefits is essentially leaving money on the table.
- Deductibles: The deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance covers any expenses. This resets annually, so if your deductible is already met, it makes sense to take advantage of this before the reset.
- Premiums: You pay monthly premiums for your dental insurance. Not using your benefits is like paying for a service you’re not using.
- Preventive Care: Most plans cover 100% of preventive services like cleanings and check-ups. These services can detect and prevent bigger issues, saving you from more extensive and costly procedures later.
How to Maximize Your Benefits
- Complete Pending Dental Work: If you’ve been postponing any treatments, now is the time to get them done. This includes fillings, root canals, or crowns.
- Start a Multi-Stage Procedure: If you need extensive work, beginning now can be wise. You can use your remaining benefits for the first part and continue treatment in the new year, using your refreshed benefits.
- Regular Check-Ups and Cleanings: If you haven’t had two cleanings or check-ups this year, schedule one immediately. These are crucial for maintaining oral health and are usually fully covered.
- Use Your FSA: Check your FSA balance. These funds often expire at the end of the year. Dental expenses are a qualified use of these pre-tax dollars.
- Talk to Your Dentist: Have a discussion about your oral health needs and how to strategically use your benefits.
- Understand Your Policy: Review your plan or speak with your HR department or insurance provider to understand your coverage better.
Now is the time to act to ensure you’re getting the full value from your dental insurance plan. It’s not just about saving money; it’s about continuing to invest in your oral health, which is a critical part of your overall wellbeing. If you haven’t already, schedule an appointment with your dentist and make a plan to use those benefits. Your future self (and smile) will thank you for it!