5 reasons you should make an appointment this month
For most people the holiday season is a great time of year to celebrate traditions and enjoy the company of friends and family. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of financial hardship for many. Put these two things together and it is understandable why your dental care is one of the furthest things from your mind right now. Frankly, there are other more pleasant things to do and to think about. We get that. But there are also some important things you should understand if you, like most people, rely on your dental insurance to help cover the cost of maintaining your pearly whites.
Did you know that you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by using your dental benefits before the end of the year? That’s right – it’s all about timing. Most dental insurance plans run on a calendar year (check yours) – and this means that this is an important time for you to understand their rules. Here are five reasons that will show you why you should make a dental appointment this month.
Yearly Maximum – This is the most money that the dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within the year, and averages around $1,500 per person. If you have unused benefits at the end of the year, they will not rollover. You lose them as soon as that calendar page flips.
Deductible – The deductible is the amount of money you must pay to your dentist out of pocket before your insurance company will pay for any services, and averages about $50 per year. Again, as soon as 2013 arrives your plan requires you to meet that deductible all over again.
Premiums – If you are paying your dental insurance premiums by the month, you should be using your benefits. Otherwise, why are you paying? It’s like throwing money in the garbage! Even if you have healthy teeth and aren’t in need of treatment at this time, your regular cleanings and exams are usually covered at 100 percent. This is because insurance companies have figured out that it saves them (and you) money if you catch problems when they are small rather than waiting for expensive treatment needs.
Fee Increases – Another reason to use your dental benefits before the end of the year is possible fee increases. It is a fact that health-care costs are rising way faster in America than inflation, despite a struggling economy. Most of these increases occur at the beginning of the year.
Dental Problems Can Worsen – This is intuitive: By delaying dental treatment now, you are risking more extensive and expensive treatment down the road. What may be a simple cavity now, could turn into a root canal later and maybe even lead to tooth loss.
So, if you have dental insurance, take a year-end inventory of your plan and see if you can put it to work. It really is, as they say, a “use it or lose it” proposition. Don’t lose it. Happy Holidays!
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