How to maximize dental insurance? Have you got dental coverage? In case they ever experience an urgent oral health crisis, many people use their policy as a fallback option. That approach to insurance, meanwhile, actually denies you the chance to maximize the benefits of your coverage. How can your dental insurance benefits be maximized? Keep your monthly premium from being wasted. 15 suggestions for making the most of your dental insurance are provided in the following paragraphs.
How To Maximize Dental Insurance in 15 Ways
1. Recognizing the Insurance Company’s Purpose
Your dental insurance is set up in a way that will enable the insurance provider to make long-term financial savings. It is much simpler to avoid an issue before it arises, as is the case with many other things in life.
This is one of the reasons that the majority of dental insurance providers cover all of your preventative care expenses at 100%, so you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Exams, x-rays, cleanings, and fluoride for kids are all part of preventive care.
Other preventive procedures, including dental sealants, are frequently reimbursed at 100%. To assist fill in the grooves and pits on the adult molars’ biting surfaces, these tiny, tooth-colored coatings are applied. Your youngster is less likely to develop cavities in the future if they have sealants. The application of a sealant is a quick and simple process that can be completed concurrently with cleaning. At your child’s next appointment, be sure to inquire about dental sealants for them.
2. Insurance Coverage For Fillings Usually Outperforms That For Crowns
If a dental issue cannot be avoided, it is crucial to address it as soon as possible. Fillings are frequently reimbursed by insurance carriers at 80% to 100%, but larger, more involved operations may only be covered at 50%.
For instance, if you have 80% coverage and a filling costs $120 typically, your out-of-pocket expense will be just $20. But suppose the cavity grew larger and required a $240 pediatric crown. However, since the crown is only partially covered, you now have to pay $120. Your out-of-pocket expenses are six times higher despite the fact that the crown cost two times what the filling did.
Please be aware that choosing a filling over a crown will not result in cost savings over the long term. If the tooth is not properly cared for and the restoration fails, your child will not only have repeated operations but you will also be required to pay for a filling and then a crown when the filling eventually breaks down.
3. Avoiding Annual Deductible Payments
Normally, when you first require treatment during a coverage year, you will be required to pay a deductible (typically between $50 and $100). If your kid requires restorative work but not preventative work, you will need to pay a charge that is separate from your co-pay and is only due once a year.
By finishing all of your child’s treatment in one year and continuing all of their preventive care in the following year, you can assist in paying lower deductibles. You won’t be required to pay that deductible again if your child does not require restorative procedures in the second year, such as a filling or crown. The deductible for each year must be paid if the therapy is stretched out over two years.
4. Maximize Your Child’s Annual Maximum Limits
Every dental insurance policy I’ve come across has a yearly cap of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 per child. Only up to this annual maximum will the insurance provider cover treatment (including preventative care).
Any unused benefits are forfeited, and any excess funds from this cap that are not spent are not carried over to the following year. These benefits usually start up again at the beginning of a new year.
For kids who require major dental work, such as if your child needs $2,000 worth of work but your annual cap is $1,000, this information is helpful. The most efficient use of your insurance and the least amount of money out of pocket would result from splitting this procedure into two appointments (one in December and one in January) at a cost of $1000 each.
In this case, you would have an annual deductible to pay, but it would be $50 less than the additional $1,000 in non-covered services you would have to pay.
Please take note that I do not advocate forcing patients to receive therapy when it is not in their best interests. Spreading out these appointments will probably make your child’s teeth even worse if they are already in pain. Please schedule a dentist appointment for your child as soon as feasible.
5. Making use of a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Although a health savings account is not insurance, many firms do offer it to their staff members. You may contribute pretax money to these accounts. This might enable you to save money, depending on your income level.
You could pay $600 from your HSA or you would need to earn $800 to have $600 after taxes, for instance, if you are in the 25% income tax rate and need to spend $600 for treatment. You will save $200 in this scenario.
The biggest drawback I’ve observed with an HSA account is that additional proof that the funds were used for medical or dental costs is required, and in some situations, unused funds in an HSA account are forfeited after a predetermined period of time. Please discuss any restrictions you may have on your HSA account with your employer and the HR department.
6. Avoid paying for two different insurance policies.
Patients who have two insurance policies frequently believe that anything not covered by one will be covered by the other. Typically, this is untrue.
There are particular dental codes depending on the procedure that was performed when an insurance claim is submitted. The primary insurance provider will be one of the two, with the secondary provider being the other.
The main will receive the claim and handle payment first. The deductible and copay must still be covered. Your deductible and copay are not covered by the second insurance provider. The only instances when the secondary will cover expenses that the primary did not cover are when a specific dental code applies or when you have used up your annual maximum.
The second insurance provider will then receive the claim for payment. If the code is covered by the policy and the primary insurance company does not pay for it, the secondary will.
Sounds difficult, huh? I advise avoiding complexity.
There is no issue if both parents are employed and your employer covers both of your dental insurance. In most circumstances, you won’t get your money’s worth if at least one of you contributes a portion of your earnings to dental insurance.
If you have two working parents who each pay for their own dental plan via their jobs, I advise canceling those plans and transferring the money to an HSA account, where it can be utilized to assist cover treatment costs.
7. Selecting the Appropriate Plan for Your Needs
It would be wise to look into a dental plan with higher coverage for these services if you already know that your child requires considerable work or particular procedures, such as orthodontics.
8. Selecting an In-Network Dentist
Let’s start by explaining what “in-network” really implies. A healthcare provider who is part of an insurance provider’s network has consented to a reduced pricing schedule for their services. The office will process an insurance adjuster for the difference between the original fees and the agreed-upon fee.
Why would a respectable dentist consent to these decreased costs? Being in-network is a powerful patient-drawing strategy. But many dentists are required to cut appointments short in order to maintain their overhead and other costs due to the lower reimbursement rates from the insurance providers.
In many circumstances, the insurance provider with which you have a plan is chosen by your employer. Little to no in-network services are available for the particular insurance carrier for some insurance companies. You might be able to change the insurance provider your employer uses by speaking with them. The company may not incur any additional costs as a result, but you will save money on your subsequent dental visit.
Please be aware that the majority of dental offices still accept your private dental insurance. The only distinction is that your copay will be increased.
9. Being Aware Of The Limits For Each Sort Of Procedure
The majority of dental customers believe their insurance will pay for two cleanings and examinations each year. This is not entirely true. They normally pay for a cleaning and examination every six months. Although there are several significant distinctions, this can appear to be the same thing.
You must have gone six months without cleaning in order to receive payment for your cleaning. Once the last cleaning has been completed, the clock for your subsequent cleaning will begin. As a result, if you visit the dentist every eight months, you will only need three cleanings over the course of two years rather than four. Although you will receive fewer services, your monthly fee will remain the same.
If a restoration needs to be replaced, it presents another restriction. For instance, suppose that after a filling, fresh decay develops on a different part of the tooth three years later. Insurance frequently won’t pay out before a fresh restoration.
Another instance that can be troublesome is when a filling was placed on a tooth when a crown should have been used instead. If a filling was performed during the previous five years, many insurance companies won’t cover the cost of the crown.
Please note that these are generalizations based on my experience working with various dental insurance providers. Please carefully examine your individual policy for any restrictions or exclusions on your particular plan.
10. Check The Small Print On A New Dental Plan
When you first enroll in many dental insurance plans, you may not be able to use all of your benefits. Preventive care may begin on the first day, however waiting periods may apply to more extensive treatment options.
11. Choose The Plan With The Lowest Monthly Payment With Care
We all enjoy a good deal, but occasionally a price is low for a reason. Some dental insurance policies might only pay for a relatively small number of services, such as just preventative care. Fillings, crowns, and extractions are more involved operations that might not be covered at all. I’ve seen folks with insurance coverage where it’s nearly difficult to save more money than if they paid for the treatment out of pocket.
12. Take Initiatives to Improve General Health
It goes beyond your oral health to make the most of your dental insurance. Additionally, it may improve your overall wellness and quality of life. By using your dental insurance to get the treatment you require, you may aid in preventing the onset of gum disease, which is connected to the following medical conditions:
- Diabetes, oral cancer, and stroke
- Heart condition
- Cancer of the pancreas
13. Make Use of Your Flexible Spending Plan
If your workplace offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you should try to use the advantages before the end of the year because they will reset at the beginning of the next. The majority of dental procedures qualify as FSA medical expenses. The FSA lowers your taxable income in addition to enabling you to get additional dental work done without having to pay more out-of-pocket. That is a win-win circumstance.
14. Provide top-notch dental care at home
Making routine dental appointments is one of the greatest ways to get the most out of your insurance coverage. A wise preventative precaution you can take for your health is to see your dentist at least once every six months. Early detection of dental problems can help you save money in the long run.
Most dental insurance plans allocate 100% of their funds to preventative care and up to 80% to basic care (fillings, root canals, and treatment for gum disease). The coverage maximum is typically 50% for significant treatments like crowns, inlays, dentures, and other such things.
By deciding to maintain excellent at-home dental hygiene, you’ll get far more use out of your dental insurance. Start with easy tasks like brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day.
The more consistently you take care of your teeth and visit your Mount Holly dentist, the greater overall healthiness you can anticipate!
15. Verify that you’ve met your deductible:
Prior to your insurance provider covering any treatment, you are required to pay a certain amount out-of-pocket for dental treatments. Your deductible, which is normally $50, will start over every year. You can get the status of your deductible by calling your dental insurance provider. If not, you might want to schedule a cleaning or any other dental work you’ve been putting off.
What Services Will Dental Insurance Provide?
Two preventative visits are typically covered annually by dental insurance policies. Dental insurance coverage typically pays for some or all of the following expenses:
- Preventive measures
- Roo t a r c s
- tooth extraction
- Dental prosthetics such as bridges or dentures
Myths Regarding Dental Insurance
One of the most common myths about dental insurance is that having secondary insurance ensures you have 100% coverage. Even if you have a supplemental dental insurance plan like Alberta Blue Cross, this is not always the case. Even though your dental insurance card will cover a maximum proportion of surgery, you can still be owing a balance. There are numerous dental insurance programs, each with unique terms and conditions. To get the most current and accurate information about your plan, we advise contacting your insurance provider before making an appointment.
Conclusion – How To Maximize Dental Insurance
Are you making the most of your dental insurance? You may maximize the use of your coverage by following the fifteen suggestions given above.