Insurance providers often include stipulations in the plan to shift the cost of dental care back onto you, the subscriber. However, the upcoming end of the year allows you get the most out of your plan. If you’re looking to get the most value out of your dental benefits, here’s why you should schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Tom Trinkner in Columbia SC before the New Year.
- The Yearly Maximum
Dental insurance plans usually have an annual maximum coverage cap. This amount is usually somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per insured individual, with the coverage amount renewing every year upon the New Year. Since this amount resets on the first of January, it makes sense to use up to your maximum coverage amount if you can.
- Overlapping Years
If your dentist has recommended multiple costly related dental procedures for you, it is possible to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by dipping into the maximums of two different benefit years. This can be done by scheduling them to start before – and complete after – the start of the New Year.
If you contribute to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer on a pre-tax basis, you should really use your entire deduction amount for the year. If not, you will forfeit any unused FSA contributions by the end of year deadline. If you also contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA), you will not suffer any tax penalties if you use it to improve your oral health at the end of year.
Usually dental plans require you to pay a specific amount out-of-pocket towards your care before your benefits start paying for your care in full. Once you’ve paid your deductible for the year, you should consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Trinkner for any procedure you may have been putting off. After all, you’ll have a brand new deductible amount to meet once the calendar rolls over to the next year.
- Monthly Premiums
If you pay out monthly premiums for your dental insurance, you should really be using those benefits. Many people act as if dental insurance is only for unexpected dental emergencies that may arise. However, you should still use your benefits to have routine services such as cleanings to prevent minor issues from becoming serious.
- Fee increases
The increasing costs of operating overhead such as materials or equipment can lead practitioners to raise their fees from time to time. As the New Year begins, it is standard procedure for dental offices to review their pricing to determine if fee increases are needed. If you wait until after the New Year to see your provider, you may end up with a higher co-pay. Therefore, it’s smart to schedule your appointment in December, before any potential fee increases.
- Dental Problems Only Get Worse
While we can all relate to putting off things we don’t want to do, especially when it might be uncomfortable, the vast majority of dental problems will only get worse with time. Procrastinating brings more discomfort and possibly higher costs when you finally break down and seek treatment. If you go sooner rather than later- before the problem becomes more complicated- you may end up paying less for your treatment. On the other hand, if you wait, you may end up paying more due to your dental insurance provider feeling the more complicated procedure was preventable.
To learn more about the insurance and payment options Dr. Trinkner accepts, call our offices at 803.400.8729.