You’re used to seeing “use by” dates on milk cartons and other food containers. You won’t see one for dental insurance. But the same principle applies. You’ve got a limited amount of time to use it.
Most dental insurance plans cap the amount of benefits you can receive in a single year. The amount is often somewhere in the range of $1,000 to $2,000. You can’t “bank” this money. If you don’t use it, in essence you “lose” it.
We’re happy to help you maximize your dental insurance benefits. If you still have insurance benefits to use in 2018, call us now at 405-395-2283 to schedule exams or other dental services. In the meantime read our tips for maximizing your dental insurance benefits. If you’ve got questions about your insurance or anything else, just give us a call!
Understand Dental Insurance Plans to Pick One Best for You
If you get a choice of dental insurance plans, it’s important to understand which one will best fit your family’s needs. Two of the most common types of plans are a PPO and an HMO.
A PPO may require you to meet a deductible before you begin using some of your benefits. Exams, professional cleanings and similar services are often fully covered and don’t require a deductible. However, you may pay a deductible as well as a percentage of the cost for other services. You can usually visit the dentist of your choice, though you may pay more for a dentist who isn’t in your insurance company’s network.
An HMO often doesn’t have a deductible and may not have benefit maximums. You generally pay a fixed fee for your dental services. An HMO often won’t pay at all if you seek treatment from a dentist not in the company’s network.
Among the questions you’ll want to consider:
- Is there a maximum annual limit for benefits you can receive? If so, what is it?
- Which treatments are covered? (For example, if you have children or teens in your family, you may want to ensure orthodontics are included.)
- Will you pay an out-of-pocket deductible for any services? If so, how much?
- Is there a waiting period before you can obtain coverage for certain procedures?
- Can you visit out-of-network dentists? How will that affect your costs?
Make the Most of Maximum Dental Insurance Benefits
As mentioned, many dental insurance plans put a limit on the maximum amount you can receive in a single year. The amount is typically between $1,000 and $2,000. We encourage you to schedule the maximum number of exams and cleanings your insurance will pay for in a year, usually two. Your plan typically covers the entire cost, so you have nothing to lose.
Exams and cleanings help us identify potential problems in their earliest stages, when they are less costly to treat. Keeping your teeth in great shape means you’ll spend less overall and likely not exceed your maximum benefits for the year.
Dr. Kevin Layton and the rest of our team are happy to work with you in scheduling your non-emergency dental services so you won’t exceed your maximum benefits. If you need two crowns, for example, you can get the first one in late 2018 and then get the second one in early 2019.
Do Some Price Comparison
Prices for dental services will vary from dentist to dentist. In order not to exceed your annual maximum benefits, you may want to check the cost of services at several dental practices – especially if you’re getting a pricey procedure.
You should also discuss all of your options with your dentist so you can pick the one that makes the most sense. Prices for a dental crown will vary quite a bit, for instance, depending on the material used. We’ll help you select one that is good for both your smile and your budget. You can also use this good tool from FairHealthConsumer.org to get an idea of typical costs in your area.
You Have Payment Choices Other Than Dental Insurance
If you don’t have dental insurance or you’re looking at a big out-of-pocket expense for needed procedures, we offer other payment options too. You may want to take advantage of our in-office dental plan. Call us at 405-395-2283 for more information.
You can also use CareCredit, which offers 12-month, no-interest financing and long-term, low-interest financing plans to help you pay for your dental care. No down payment is required, and there are no added fees.