If you are among the 59% of Americans with dental insurance, you may want to make sure you’ve taken advantage of your full benefits before the year runs out. Most plans renew every calendar year. This means you could be ringing in the New Year by leaving money behind.
Every dental plan has a maximum amount they will pay towards to coverage of each beneficiary. When time your child visits the dentist, our office files a claim with your insurance. The amount of the claim is subtracted by your insurance company against your maximum. When the maximum is reached, you are responsible for paying for any further dental costs out-of-pocket. Obviously, no one wants to max out their benefit, but in truth, less than 3% of covered individuals ever do. What you don’t use doesn’t roll over to the next year.
A dental deductible is a dollar amount established by your insurance provider that you are required to pay out-of-pocket before your dental benefits kick in. Once you meet your deductible for the year, your coverage will pay for all or part of the remaining costs. Like a yearly maximum, deductibles renew every year, and you’ll have to start paying it down all over again.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
A flexible spending account is a type of savings account set up through your employer which allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars from your pay to use towards out-of-pocket medical expenses. Did you know this can also be used toward dental visits? However, unlike a traditional savings account, the money in your FSA doesn’t stick around indefinitely. If you don’t deplete your FSA by December 31, you lose it.
In most cases, your employer pays for part of the monthly cost of your dental insurance, and you pay the rest. This is usually paid through a pre-tax deduction from your paycheck. It’s easy to forget that you’re paying for dental insurance every month, especially when you’re not seeing that money in the first place. But if you don’t use it, you are losing benefits that for which you’ve already paid.
There is an old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It is less costly to take the appropriate steps towards keeping your child’s teeth healthy such as thorough regular check-ups and cleanings rather than paying to correct a problem later. If your child hasn’t had a checkup in over six months, it’s time to make that appointment now!
It’s important to note that every dental insurance plan is different. Now is the time to review your dental benefits and make plans to maximize your yearly benefits to the fullest.
Pediatric Dental Associates of Alabama is led by top-rated pediatric dentists with locations in Birmingham, Cullman, Medplex-Hoover, Oxford and Pell City. When looking for your child’s dentist, know that we aspire to be the premier provider of pediatric dental services in Alabama. Beautiful smiles are our specialty!