As three of us in the office were celebrating birthdays recently, we were silently or loudly sighing:  “Another year went by so fast!” Since the calendar year is coming to its end, it is time to discuss unused dental insurance benefits. Out of curiosity, I ran a report to look how much is sitting in unused benefits for the patients in our office. 700,000!  For many people benefits will reset on January 1. It means the unused portion of 2016 benefits is available for only two more months.

True, not everyone needs a treatment right now and this is great! But let me show you that scheduling an appointment before the year-end is actually a sound decision.

Reason 1: You have already paid premium for your dental insurance

Either you or your employer pay a dental insurance premium each month. If you need a treatment, a cleaning or a dentist check-up, then you literary are throwing away that hard-earned money each month by not scheduling an appointment. Even an extra cleaning would be great (if your insurance coverage permits.)  At least, you’ll enjoy a shining smile for the holidays!

Reason 2: Insurance company will wipe the unused portion of allocated maximum at the end of the year

Most insurance companies set a maximum they contribute to your dental health each year. Usually at the end of a calendar year, they reset this amount. Anything left in that “bucket” will not roll over to the next year. Again, you are throwing away that insurance contribution by not scheduling a needed appointment now.

Reason 3: You have already invested into a deductible portion

Your dental insurance plan may have a deductible portion. It means you need to invest a certain amount before your insurance will start participating. Let’s say you have already invested into your deductible this year. Now it is the turn of the insurance company to cover your dental needs until they reach the annual maximum. Again, the unused portion is not going with you into the next year. You will have to start investing into your deductible portion again after January 1.

At our office, we carefully look into your insurance situation to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. If the clinical situation permits, we will split the treatment into phases. For example, we can do a root canal and put a temporary restoration in one year and place a permanent crown the next year. Both procedures are then covered by the dental insurance.

I hope I was able to convince you to stop for a moment and review your current dental needs. Let us help you! Call us at 707-874-2447. Naomi and Tina will gladly check your dental benefits or schedule an appointment.


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