October 25, 2018
The last couple months of the year are understandably busy for most people. You might be planning various family events, shopping ‘til you drop, and trying to get everything in order for 2019. But before you put your new calendar on the wall, it would be wise for you to make time in your schedule to visit your dentist in Northern Virginia. Doing so will benefit your smile and will help you get the most out of your 2018 dental benefits.
A Use It or Lose It Situation
Most dental insurance plans cover a period of exactly one year, from January 1 to December 31. During that time, your policy may allow you to put a certain amount of money toward various dental procedures. Oftentimes, this yearly maximum is between $1,000 and $1,500, though some policies have an even higher allowance.
The majority of people with PPO dental plans don’t even come close to meeting or exceeding their annual maximum. Whatever they don’t use disappears at the end of the calendar year; very few policies have a rollover provisions that allow their holders to use benefits in the following year. Therefore, many families end up losing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of benefits over the course of a few years.
Of course, the hope is that your oral health is good enough that you don’t have to meet your yearly maximum. But you should still be diligent about attending regular checkups with your dentist and use your insurance to cover any extra work that they recommend.
Get the Most Out of Your 2018 Benefits
Although time is running short in 2018, you still have an opportunity to maximize your dental benefits this year. Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Schedule a checkup right away. Quite a few dental plans cover basic preventive care at 80 percent or higher. You could therefore receive a thorough cleaning and exam for a very low out of pocket cost. If the checkup reveals that you need a little extra work done, you may still have time to complete your treatment this year.
- Strategize for major work. If you need a crown, root canal, or other significant procedure that will exceed your yearly maximum, you may be able to schedule it across multiple appointments — and across multiple calendar years. You’ll thus be able to take advantage of two annual maximums rather than just one.
- Ask for advice. The staff in your dentist’s office know the ins and outs of how insurance works. They’ll be able to help you understand the specifics of your policy so you can truly get the most out of it.
Is a dental appointment on your year-end to-do list? Seeing your oral healthcare professional before the curtain closes on 2018 can help you enjoy a sound smile at great monetary value.
About the Author
Dr. Wayne Myles has over 20 years of experience in dentistry. Not only is he an excellent dentist, but he also wants to help his patients receive care without worrying unduly about finances. We’re happy to work with most insurance plans. To learn more about Dr. Myles or our office’s policies, contact us at 703-925-0800.
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