August 9, 2018
We’re already well into the second half of 2018; before you know it, we’ll be getting ready to welcome 2019! In the months that remain between now and the new year, please make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Beaumont. Doing so will both bolster your smile’s well-being and help you get the most of your dental insurance benefits.
Dental Insurance Works on a Calendar Year Basis
The vast majority of dental insurance plans work on a calendar year basis. That is, your policy is valid from January 1 to December 31. Within that 12 months, your insurance policy may allow you to visit your dentist for two cleanings and checkups, as well as a full set of X-rays — most plans even cover this preventive care at 100 percent. If you don’t get all of that done by the end of December, any unused benefits you have expire.
The same thing is true of coverage that applies to more extensive work, such as fillings and crowns. Your insurance may cover 50 – 70 percent of the cost of such services, but a yearly maximum also applies. For many plans, the maximum is between $1,000 and $1,500. Whatever portion of that maximum that you haven’t used by the end of the year disappears.
Why Schedule an Appointment Now?
You may be thinking, “It’s only August. Why should I be in a hurry to use my insurance now?” There are a few reasons:
- Your dentist’s calendar may be quite full. Unless you have an emergency, it may be a few weeks before you can be seen.
- Getting a checkup now will alert you to any developing dental problems. You may be able to get these taken care of before the end of the year.
- Life is busy. The end of the year may be a hectic time as you try to balance family time, celebration planning, and more. Setting aside a few hours for your oral health now will save your to-do list from another item down the road.
- The fine print of your insurance policy may change from year to year. The coverage you have now may not be exactly the same as the coverage you have next year.
Getting the Most out of Your Dental Benefits
If you’re confused about your dental benefits, don’t hesitate to seek help. The friendly folks in your dentist’s office are used to working with insurance companies, and they can explain anything about your policy that you don’t understand. They can even file claims for you and offer suggestions that will minimize your out of pocket costs.
2019 will be here in no time! Take advantage of your dental insurance before this year’s benefits are gone forever.
About the Author
Dr. Michael Olson is a highly skilled general dentist in Beaumont who strongly encourages his patients to keep up with their preventive care. If you would like to schedule a checkup so you can take advantage of your insurance, or if you have questions about how dental benefits work, contact our office at 409-860-9600.
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