Knowing Your Dental Coverage Saves Money.

If you are fortunate enough to have dental insurance, understanding your coverage and benefits will save you money.  Each primary policy holder should receive a booklet outlining your dental benefits.  There are 7 things you need to know about your coverage to save money on your dental bill.

1)  Know what type of year your insurance is base on.  Whether it is a calender year (Jan. – Dec.), or a fiscal year (July – June), and enrollment year, or a qualification plan base on hours worked.  This allows you to plan dental visits accordingly.

2)  Know your deductibles.  You should know what your individual and family deductibles are.  You should know what dental procedures these are charged against.

3)  Know what your yearly and lifetime maximum benefits are.  By knowing these, you can coordinate treatment base on how much insurance benefits are remaining and not exceed these maximums.

4)  Know what type of dental plan you have.  You should know if your costs are reduced if you go to a dentist on your insurance’s list of providers.  These are usually Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) or Dental Maintenance Organizations (DMO) that the dentist agrees to the insurance company’s fee schedule and writes off a certain amount. Many insurance plans are traditional plans that you can see the dentist of your choice.

5)  Know what your coverage is for the 4 groups of procedures.  They are 1) Preventative (usually 100%), 2) Basic (usually 80%), Major (usually 50%), and Orthodontics (usually 50% with a lifetime maximum benefit).

6)  Know your dental plans limitations.  Usually certain procedures are allowed once in a certain time period (ie. crowns – every 5 years, etc.)

7)  Be aware of any waiting period or restrictions.  Be sure you know when your coverage is effective and be aware of any restrictions listed in your policy, like a missing tooth clause.  By knowing these things, you can be prepared for associated costs and avoid paying for something that would have be a covered benefit if you had waited.

By understand your dental coverage, you can save money and plan your visits to help utilize your insurance to keep your out of pocket expenses as low as possible.

The next blog will be on how to maximize your dental insurance benefits.  I have had requests to post a blog more often.  I will be posting blogs Monday, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from now on.

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