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Get the Most From Your Dental Coverage

Is your dental insurance plan on a calendar year? If so, it’s time to act now before the end of year. Any unused benefits will disappear January 1. Your annual deductible will also reset and you’ll start over. The first step is to call your dental insurance provider and find out the exact amount of your unspent dental benefits. That is the amount you could potentially lose.

The next step is to call us to make an appointment. The sooner you do this, the more likely we will be able to schedule you or any eligible family member covered by your dental plan before New Year’s Eve.

Next, find out what procedures will qualify under your plan. Typically preventive procedures such as cleanings, X-rays and routine exams are covered. So are fillings, crowns, bridgework and other dental procedures up to the amount allowed by your dental plan.

Even if you can’t complete a procedure this year, you can begin the process and use up any leftover benefits. Next year, when your dental plan maximum benefits and deductible reset, you can finish the work.

Saving money shouldn’t be your only motivation. Routine visits to the dentist can detect early problems like gum diseases and oral cancers. Even a small cavity or leaky filling left unattended can become a bigger, more expensive fix if you ignore it.

One final reason to act quickly: You are probably not the only person who suddenly realized you had unspent dental benefits!

Flex Spending Accounts: Use It or Lose It
If you have a flexible spending account, this is also a good time of year to take care of any dental work you’ve been putting off.

The first step is to double-check your remaining balance. Most flexible spending accounts are use-it or lose-it plans. If you don’t spend it all, not only do you miss out on the tax savings but you will also lose your remaining funds.

Any dental expense that is not reimbursed through your dental insurance can be reimbursed through your flexible spending account. If you are interested in setting up an account for 2013, remember that the end of this year is the time of year to enroll for next year.