Use it or Lose it: Dental Benefits and the End of the Year

It’s November and the Christmas commercials have already started on television (so early!). It might be strange to be thinking about closing out the year, but when it comes to your dental benefits, it’s actually appropriate. November is a good time to think about your dental coverage, schedule appointments to use your benefits if you haven’t already and evaluate your coverage for the coming year. As we head into the last few weeks of 2018, here are a few things to think about.

Get on the Calendar

Between the candy of Halloween and the sticky-sweet slice of pecan pie that is probably in your future, your teeth could really benefit from a professional cleaning this time of year. If you haven’t made an appointment this year (something you should actually do twice a year), make today the day you give your primary care dental office a call. November and December mark extremely busy months for dental offices because dental insurance coverage generally ends at the end of December. While there are possibilities to be squeezed in for emergency situations, getting booked at convenient time for a regular appointments gets harder to do as we get closer to the end of the year. If you’re due for an appointment, give your dentist a call today!

Don’t Count on a Roll Over

Dental benefits and flex-account dollars often don’t roll over into the new year. When you don’t use your preventative dental benefits over the year, you’re essentially leaving money on the table. This is another great reason why you should visit with your plan, recall what benefits you have available to you, and then make an appointment with your dental professional. Remember: you should use your flex-account dollars on the treatments that you need before they run out. But follow your professional’s advice and don’t go signing up for treatments that are unnecessary.

Evaluate and Plan Ahead

If you are in need of treatment that will have to be done over a period of time, this is an important time of year to coordinate with your insurance company and your dental professional so you can time out your treatment to maximize your benefits this year and then start out strong when everything resets for the new year. Urgent treatment should be done as soon as possible: this includes treatments like extractions and root canals. This is to prevent complications, extra steps, and increased costs that delaying might bring on. When working with your human resource officer at work, or going through health insurance websites if you purchase your insurance yourself, be sure to note how much coverage certain procedures get and be sure to note if there are any waiting periods before you can use a benefit. Furthermore, many dental insurance websites have pricing tools that help you plan in advance for the financial cost of your needs. No matter what, you are entitled to ask questions and get the answers you need to make a prudent decision that works best for your health and your budget.

The end of the year is a fantastic time to gather with family and friends for celebrations and reflection. It’s also an important time for closing the books, getting things in order, and making sure you have done everything you can to have a happy, healthy year. A few phone calls and a revisit with your insurance policy are small, but important, steps you can take to make sure you’ve maximized on your dental health and you’re set up for a healthy 2019!

Have you been told you need specialty care by your primary dental practitioner? Looking for a practice that will partner with you and your dentist to bring you back to good oral health? Give us a call today: we’ll help you schedule your treatments, figure out your insurance coverage, and put together a plan to restore your good oral health now and into the future!