Dental Benefits: Use Them (Or Lose Them)

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Did you know that if you do not use your dental benefits by the end of the year, you may lose them?

Each year, millions of people leave money unspent in their dental benefit plans. This money is not rolled into the next year—but lost forever. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, only 2.8% of people with PPO dental plans reached or exceeded their plans annual maximum. In addition, many people also have Flexible Spending Accounts, which help pay for dental and medical care with pre-tax dollars.

Remember, when you buy a plan you (and your employer) are paying money towards the premium that are wasted if you don’t see your dentist. Many insurance companies have a benefit deadline of December 31, and this means that any of your unused benefits don’t roll over into the New Year for most dental plans. (Plans may end at different times of the year. Ask your employer or plan administrator to be sure.)

So, get the most for your dollar! The typical plans pay 100% for preventive visits. If you have your annual cleaning and check-up this year – get it on the calendar before the end of the year. And, if you have been putting off needed dental work, make any upcoming appointments early so you can take care of them before the holidays.

The same is true for your FSA. If you are using FSA dollars for dental care your current plans will most likely run out on December 31st. When you set up a Flexible Spending Account through your employer, you choose how much money to put into this account at enrollment. A portion of this amount is deducted from each paycheck pre-tax. You already paid for it! So, you should use it. Note: FSAs generally cover cleanings, sometimes braces, benefit plan co-pays, and dentures. Most FSA accounts cannot be used for cosmetic procedures. See your plan administrator for specific details since not all may be covered.

In most cases, you must use the money in an FSA by December 31. Plan carefully so you don’t put more money in your account, you will spend within a year on dental or other health care costs. Contact your FSA administrator for a list of covered services and products (usually referred to as eligible expenses).

Here are the major dental insurance companies we currently work with: Guardian Dental PPO, Aetna Dental PPO, Humana Dental PPO, Renaissance Dental PPO, United Healthcare Dental PPO, Delta Dental PPO, Cigna Dental PPO, Ameritas Dental, PPO, MetLife Dental PPO, TriCare Dental PPO, United Concordia Dental PPO, Principal Dental PPO, and Sun Life Dental PPO.

Learn more.

Dr. Brandon Schmidt | 15-November-2020

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