Getting the most out of your dental plan is something we all want to do. We pay for the insurance and should use every penny of our allowed coverage. Remember, we pay for these benefits in our premiums every month. It’s time to get ALL you paid for.
Many get frustrated and overwhelmed with insurance terms and often find themselves avoiding doing the research needed to educate themselves on the necessary information they need to know.
Maximize your insurance plan with these 4 easy tips:
First Tip : Understand your dental plan.
You need to know if your insurance policy is a HMO, PPO plan. When choosing your benefits there are three things you should know after enrollment when looking for good dental insurance. Before you buy dental insurance ask your insurance representative what is your “Maximum Allowance”, what is the “Deductible” and are there “Copay’s”. Understanding this information is key to choosing the right dental plan to maximize your benefits. A maximum is an annual amount your insurance will pay on your behalf. The deductible is a dollar amount paid by the patient before coverage will begin. A co-payment is an amount due, if any, for each individual visit, per your insurance agreement.
Second Tip: Take Advantage of ALL insurance benefits
Your dental plan is broken down into 3 categories: Preventive, Basic and Major.
Preventive Services, are such services as x-rays and teeth cleanings. These services are often covered at 100% but are the most overlooked.
I think we all have heard the saying “If it’s not broke then don’t fix it”. The statement rings true with many patients. Preventive treatment can help patients avoid costly dental care. Most insurance will allow you two checkups and cleanings per year. However, checkups and cleanings are often disregarded when no symptoms occur. Unfortunately, if you don’t use your dental insurance, you will you loose it and possibly your teeth too!
Third Tip: Use an “In-Network Dentist”
Many insurance plans have multiple networks that not all dentist participate in. With HMO plans patients are required to see an “In-Network” dentist. The dentist must be chosen from a list your insurance provides. Once a patient selects a participating dentist with their HMO plan they must see that dentist only. PPO plans are more flexible, because patients have more flexibility in choosing a dentist. With a PPO network patients may see any licensed dentist but will pay more when you select a dentist from their many “In Network” participating dentists. Ask your insurance company about any dentist and they will be able to let you know if they are participating and “In-Network”.
Fourth Tip: Use your Resources
Today with internet and cell phone applications it’s easy to manage your insurance plan. Nearly all insurance company’s provide a user portal to access your insurance plan and benefits.
Most of these insurance websites offer online customer service too. After any procedure from your dentist, a claim will be filed. Once a claim is filed with your insurance company, then an E.O.B. (Explanation of Benefits) will be generated for your review. This E.O.B. provides you with a breakdown of money paid and to whom and will also reflect any payment you may be responsible for. Keep track of your E.O.B.’s to see if you have met your deductible or are close to the maximum allowance.
Following these simple guidelines will help you to get the most out of your insurance benefits. Remember, it is your money, so use it don’t loose it!
Learn more about dental insurance on our website here.