The phrase made popular by the famous Notorious B.I.G., who said “the more money we come across, the more problems we see” pretty much only applied to him. It’s actually quite the opposite when it comes to the end of the year and your dental insurance benefits. Each year your dental insurance allots a maximum dollar amount, typically in the range of $1,000-$1,500, that they are willing to pay. For a lot of people that money is used for their regular checkups and cleanings or a small restorative concern here and there. These people never come close to using their full benefit, which is great just in case something horrible happens. (You break a tooth, or need a root canal.)
However, there are other people who need extensive treatment and utilize their entire insurance benefit before the end of the year. If these patients need any additional treatment, their insurance companies are not willing to contribute until their plans renew the following year. This leaves them paying for everything themselves, and they sometimes put their health at risk by waiting.
There’s a third, more unfortunate, category of people: those who have treatment that has been prescribed but they haven’t completed it yet. This leaves them at risk for their dental problem to get worse, and they also do not use their entire benefit. Do you know what happens to the remaining money on your dental benefit if you do not use it? The insurance company keeps it! We hate to see our patients in this lose/lose situation.
Most insurance plans run on a calendar year and renew January 1, making the last few months of the year a great time to get scheduled to use those benefits. One of my favorite parts of my job at Schumacher & Bauer is to help maximize patients’ insurance benefits while minimizing their out of pocket expense. If you’re worried about paying for the parts insurance doesn’t cover, I would be happy to share with you our many payment plan options. If you just talk with me, I’m sure we can work something out!
Let’s not let the insurance companies win and stop putting yourself at risk by waiting. We are here to help and look forward to seeing you soon!
We’re featuring stories and suggestions from the team members at Schumacher & Bauer, DDS in our new monthly blog series. You can view all posts in this series here.