Countdown to Expiration: Time to Use Your Dental Benefits in 2020
A dental benefits plan is one of the perks that most of us receive from our employers. As the year runs its course, some patients tend to forget to use their dental benefits. In this article, we’d like to encourage you to appreciate the value of your dental benefits plan and use it before the 2020 ends.
A dental benefits plan is a privilege you’re lucky to have
Not a lot of employers provide dental benefits to their employees. So, if your job comes with such perks, consider yourself lucky. The on-going pandemic has shocked the world, and none of us has seen it coming. In times when the economy is in turmoil and your budget is tight, your dental benefits plan is a valuable financial relief.
Dental benefits plan
A dental benefit is a type of insurance that aims to help you with dental costs and encouragement for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The annual maximum or the expenses that will be shouldered by the insurance company ranges from $1000 to $1500. Each dental benefits plan has a set of dental benefit policies that classifies what’s covered and what’s not.
Common policies of a dental benefits plan
Here are some of the policies you should know before scheduling an appointment:
- Most preventive services have 100% coverage, but they are bound to have frequency limitations. Simple dental procedures like fillings may require you to share 20% in copayment. For bridges and other major restorations, the coverage is at 50%.
- Cosmetic and orthodontic treatments like braces and veneers are not usually part of the plan coverage. However, some companies offer them. Ask your plan provider so that you won’t miss any discounts for these kinds of treatment.
- Knowing the type of dental benefits that you have is crucial for your plan coverage. For DHMO holders, the coverage only applies to a specific set of dental care providers or networks. DPPO, on the other hand, is a more flexible plan where the coverage applies for both in-network and out-of-the-network dental providers.
How to make the most out of your dental benefits plan
Dental practices like Fine Arts Dentistry help patients strategize on how they can maximize their dental benefits plan based on their dental condition. Some helpful tips are as follows:
- Unless you undergo a thorough dental exam, you will not be able to know the treatments you’ll need. It’s best to have an oral exam as your starting point before you make elaborate plans for your dental benefits.
- Work with your dentist on how you can schedule treatments with frequency limitations like a scheduled cleaning before a special occasion. Our dental team helps our patients make educated decisions about the best time to have their treatments and how it will work with their dental benefits plan.
- Avoid on-the-spot charges by asking your plan provider about the copayment policies of the dental treatments you’ll need.
Flexible Spending Accounts(FSA)
Flexible spending accounts are pre-tax money that you set aside to spend on your medical and dental expenses throughout the year. Just like other dental health benefits plans, FSA is only available if your employer will offer it. One of the perks of FSA is you can save on taxes for the funds you’ll add to it.
Common policies of a flexible spending account
The account features of FSA for 2020 are as follows:
- It’s a non-taxable amount of dollars that works like a debit card to pay for your copayments, insurance deductibles, and medical supplies.
- Your employer can extend your FSA if they agree to give you a grace period of 2.5 months.
- You can carry over unused funds of up to $550 to the following year upon the approval of your employer.
- Funds left in your FSA account by the end of the year will go back to your employer.
- Not all dental treatments are under the eligible expense so check the list here before you decide to use your FSA as a copayment.
How to make the most out of your flexible spending account
Here are some tips in using your FSA funds efficiently without letting it go to waste by the end of the year:
- Create a breakdown of the dental treatments you’ll need with your dentist. You can use your previous year’s medical expenses as a benchmark and set aside a certain amount intended for dental emergencies.
- Build a schedule with your dentist for treatments that you’ll undergo for the coming months so you can align your budget in the same direction.
- You can buy supplements and medical supplies with your unused FSA funds.
- Verify if your employer will allow a grace period and carryover before you register to make better budget adjustments.
Skip the year-end rush: Schedule an appointment now
You can use your dental benefits now for an initial oral exam and have enough time to schedule the dental treatments you’ll need in the coming months. Fine Arts Dentistry accepts dental benefits plans from our 20 insurance partners. Schedule an appointment now and reserve your slot before you lose the time to make the most out of your dental benefits plan.