Health Benefits: Use Them or Lose Them

Health Benefits: Use Them or Lose Them

Nov 11, 2014

Delaying dental treatment means risking more extensive treatment later on. Did you know that you can save hundreds of dollars by taking advantage of your dental benefits and/or flexible savings account right now? Most plans run out at the end of the year and any unused benefits disappear. Here are three reasons why you should maximize your insurance benefits and schedule your dental appointments today!

  1. Dental Coverage: Dental exams and cleanings are essential for good oral health. Fortunately, most dental policies cover these routine services so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket. The cost for these visits is built into your dental policy, for which you pay a monthly premium. If you don’t see your dentist on a regular basis, not only do you waste the money you paid for your policy, you risk your oral health.
  2. Yearly Insurance Maximums: When you sign up for dental insurance, the company sets a yearly maximum. The company will not pay out benefits that exceed this amount. Most plans have a yearly maximum of $1,000, although the figure may vary. The benefit does not roll over. If you don’t use the full amount within the calendar year, the benefit is lost.
  3. Insurance Deductibles: The deductible is what you have to pay the dentist before your insurance benefits kick in.  Deductible amounts vary depending on your plan. Most people meet their deductible by this time of year and can take advantage of all of their benefits. However, if you already met your deductible and put off dental work until next year, you will have to start all over again.
  4. Flexible Savings Accounts: Flexible savings accounts (FSA) and healthcare savings accounts (HSA) are tax-advantaged financial accounts set up through employers. Employees can elect to have a portion of their earnings set aside for qualifying expenses, including dental expenses. There is a limit to the amount of money which can be rolled over into the next year. Instead of losing this money, consider all the ways you can use it for your dental care.

How to Use Your Benefits

There are many ways to use your dental insurance and FSA benefits. Take care of dental issues before they become serious and require comprehensive treatment. Benefits can cover the following:

  • Preventative care: Schedule preventative services such as exams, cleanings, sealants or fluoride treatments.
  • Restorations: See your dentist for restorations, including amalgam or composite fillings, root canals, crowns or dentures.
  • Dental supplies: Pay for denture adhesives, oral pain relief products like Orajel and Anbesol, and analgesics such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. You can even pay for smoking cessation supplies to drastically reduce the chance of developing oral cancer.

It’s important to book your appointments early because dental offices get very busy at the end of the year. Contact your dentist right away to make sure you get in so that you don’t lose any of your 2014 benefits. The sooner you call, the easier it will be to schedule a visit!

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