Making the Best out of Your Year End Dental Insurance Benefits

December 31, 2020, Functional Aesthetic Dentistry

Take Advantage of your Dental Benefits
Take Advantage of your Dental Benefits
When the year ends, so does your yearly dental benefits. So how and what can you do to take advantage of these benefits before they're lost?

Dental insurance benefits are some of the most widely unused health benefits in the Nation. While this may not be the only trend in the health industry, it is one that is worth noting. Especially, when 2021 is just around the corner. 

Health insurance is certainly a fickle mistress if it were a mistress, and dental insurance, in some cases, is no more different. The following is a fast synopsis of this point, we can delve into further details on these 3 in a later article.

  • First, the industry itself creates complications for you as a patient, based on the state you live in.
  • Then, you have a plethora of insurance plans to choose from, both dental and non-dental insurance plans, whether HMO or PPO.
  • To top is off, each one of those options come with their own caveats such as accepted dentist, doctors or establishments to name one example. 

If this what society goes through to acquire, maintain and manage logistics for their health and dental insurance, why do so many benefits go unused each year? 

Yearly Benefits Lost

One benefit that is lost in the billions on a yearly basis is unused benefits by the end of the year. According to the NADP (National Association of Dental Plans), around 97.2% of people that participated in PPO dental plans did not reach or even get close to exceed their dental plan’s maximum benefit threshold. 

This astonishing report brings up two further questions:

  1. Is this attributed to copays and budget crunches?
  2. Are Americans in a serious need for dental treatments due to sheer negligence? And at what age group is this case more prevalent. 

There are different reasons why we lack proper oral care however, a study such as the one just cited shows that no matter the reason, money for dental treatment is being left on the table. Not in small, insignificant quantities either. 

A typical dental insurance plan will provide you with yearly benefits between $1,500 to $4,500. If we take into account the estimated yearly benefits lost, you could be missing out on anywhere between these stated amounts. Let’s say you have a cavity filling and initial consultation costing you a total of about $500. Let’s round the numbers in order to paint a better picture. Let’s also say that after your initial dental consultation and treatment, life got in the way and you were not able to visit your dentist for the rest of the year. Is losing $4,000 in yearly benefits something you can live with? 

Make the Best out of “No Co-Pay Benefits”

One of the best and most cost-effective ways to make the most out of your dental insurance benefits is to visit for prevention purposes. If you need a checkup, most insurance providers will cover 100% of the cost for preventative checkups and maintenance. 

This helps you avoid costly expenses in the future, due to lack of proper oral care. Additionally, if you’re in a tight budget crunch, preventative checkups and basic cleaning which can run between $50 to $100 will help you remove and keep plaque off your teeth and gums. This will go a long way to sustaining a healthy mouth. Bacteria and plaque help contribute to cavities and gingivitis, basic cleaning and checkups twice per year will help reduce the ability for plaque to build up into a concrete like substance, that can damage the tooth enamel. 

Make the Best out of your Dental Benefits

What if your oral health is in good condition, but you still have benefits you’ve paid for that you’d like to use before the end of the year? 

There are some ways you can go about this. For example, look at basic procedures that you can take advantage of with affordable copays. One such treatment is teeth whitening, which allows you to maintain a healthy smile, make use of unused benefits and it won’t break the bank. 

You can also see if different methods of getting the same results will satisfy your pocketbook and your left-over insurance benefits. One way of doing this is comparing laser whitening treatment VS traditional whitening treatment methods. 

If you’ve already lost out on this years’ benefits, don’t worry. Sometimes, we all learn things the hard way. Let’s start planning for next year and call your local dentist


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