Open Enrollment and End-of-Year Mean It’s Time to Evaluate Coverage
There’s a lot to think about this time of year, from elections to holidays. Dental insurance may not be top of mind, but it should be on the list. That’s true for two reasons:
- It’s time to opt in or out for the next year, and
- If you’re currently covered, it’s time to be sure you’ve gotten all you can out of it before the calendar year resets your plan.
Have Dental Insurance? Know & Use Your Benefits.
If you’re already paying for dental insurance, there are a few things you should be sure to consider before the end of the year:
- Have you taken advantage of your preventative care inclusions? In almost every case, semi-annual cleanings and annual x-rays are covered. If you haven’t used them both yet, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get this year’s cleaning in!
- Have you had dental work done this year and paid all or part of your deductible? If you’ve paid your deductible but not yet reached your maximum coverage amount, check with us to see if there’s anything more needed before the end of the year so you can take advantage of the available benefits at lower costs than you would have at the start of the year.
- Have the benefits of dental insurance coverage been worth the cost of premiums you’ve paid this year? It might be a good time to do some math. Calculate the total cost of premiums and copays throughout the year and compare that to what you would have paid without the coverage. This will help you determine whether or not you want to renew your coverage for next year.
Thinking About Buying or Renewing Dental Insurance? Read the Fine Print.
Contrary to popular belief, dental insurance does not really work the same way regular health insurance works. Here are several things to be sure you’re clear on before signing up:
- Most plans pay less or none of the costs for out of network providers! So before making any commitments, give us a call to make sure we’re participating and eligible for coverage.
- The annual maximum benefit amounts are lower than you’re used to with regular health insurance. The most you can generally expect to have covered is between $1000-$2000 per year, and that’s only after you’ve met a deductible.
- Even after you’ve met your deductible, most plans require copays of 50-80% depending on the service and provider.
- Watch for waiting periods and coverage exclusions. Many plans won’t cover anything that started before your policy started, and there is often a waiting period of six months or more before certain major dental work will be eligible for coverage. They may also restrict the number of times certain procedures will be covered.
Decision Time: What’s Next?
Here are the steps we’re recommending you take during the month of November:
- If you currently have dental insurance, evaluate to identify remaining coverage benefits you should consider using before the end of the year.
- Compare cost of coverage to cost of expected treatment to determine the value of dental insurance to you and your family.
- Take good care of your teeth and gums at home.
- Schedule your second bi-annual cleaning and annual x-rays for 2020 if you haven’t had them yet.
- Remember, insurance isn’t the only way to handle the costs of dental care. We’re here to help.
We hope that helps with your considerations and decisions about insurance! The main thing to remember is that we’ll be happy to hear from you any time with questions or requests.