The end of the year is quickly approaching, and that means you will be getting busier and busier in the next few weeks. You’ll be going at such a pace that one minor hiccup could throw off the whole season. One of the worst, but most preventable, is a dental issue. Nothing ruins the holidays like a sudden problem with your teeth. That’s why it’s the perfect time of year to make an appointment with your dentist in Tappan at Smile More Dentistry. However, the holidays can be financially stressful for many people, so they ask themselves, “Will the dentist near me take my insurance?”
Today, the doctors are going to answer a few common questions about dental insurance, and let you know why this is actually the best time of the year to use your benefits.
1. How does dental insurance work?
Of course, this is a very broad question. Basically, dental insurance is geared towards covering preventive care that can stop many dental issues before they start. This is different from medical or car insurance that is meant to help cover you after a problem has occurred. Dental insurance still covers treatments for problems you might encounter, but that’s not its primary focus.
Many dental insurance providers work within a specific network of dentists, which is why you will see many dental practices refer to themselves as “in-network” with certain providers. This means they have a contract with a dental insurance provider to cover a portion of their fees. Some plans will cover care from “out-of-network” practices, though probably not as much as in-network practices.
A common quality between plans, however, is that many of them reset at the end of the year.
2. Wait, my dental benefits reset?
Yes, on January 1st, 2017, Americans will lose hundreds of billions of dollars in dental benefits. Many plans have an annual maximum, meaning it will cover you up to a certain dollar amount of care each year. Any money you have left at the end of the year does not roll over, and will simply go back to your insurance provider. Many people lose thousands of dollars in care each year because they are not aware of how much coverage they have, and the dental insurance companies have an incentive to not inform them.
Most people only use about 10% of their available benefits. This results in a loss in dollars as well as care that could save you time and discomfort in the future. Many people end up paying more for care they could have gotten for free or deeply discounted because they waited. This is why the team at Smile More Dentistry want more and more patients to know about how their dental insurance works, so that they can get the most out of the benefits they have already paid for.
3. What does my dental insurance cover?
Like we mentioned in #1, dental insurance is primarily for preventive care. This refers to dental cleanings and standard check-ups. These are two of the best ways to take care of your teeth and keep visits to your dentist quick and easy. Many plans will cover preventive care 100% or at a significant discount. They also cover a portion (50-70%) of restorative procedures, and even part of cosmetic procedures if they are also medically relevant. Most plans provide enough money for 2 check-ups and dental cleanings per year, which are extremely important for your teeth.
4. Will you take my insurance?
Yes! We will take any insurance plan whether we are in-network or not, and even file the claim for you. We don’t know the details of everyone’s individual plan, so be sure to look and see how much coverage you have and which procedures are included. However, we will always work with you and your provider to make sure that you get the most out of your benefits.
A quick check-up this time of the year can give you one less thing to think about during the stressful holiday season, and will probably be completely covered by your insurance. That will all change on January 1st, 2017. We will do everything we can to make sure that you have a happy and healthy holiday season, so come see us today!