For those who invest in dental insurance month after month, I have an announcement to make: you have less than two months to use your insurance benefits to the fullest prior to the end of the year! Otherwise, if this year’s benefits aren’t used prior to December 31st, then they’ll be lost.
Insurance companies, however, will not tell you this. Any unused benefits at year’s end result in YOUR money being kept by the insurance companies. This lack of transparency is why I’ll never be a fan of dental insurance companies, who make obscene amounts of money year after year, primarily as a result of thousands of their customers’ benefits going unclaimed. If there is dental work that you’ve been putting off getting completed, there’s no better time than now to get it done, particularly if your insurance benefits are on the line. Many common dental insurance plans have upwards of $1,000 in benefits available to their enrollees, which isn’t an insignificant amount, considering that many plans require monthly payments that total much more than that on an annual basis. You’d be surprised how many patients unknowingly waste their chance to redeem their covered benefits each year!
Many of my patients, being fed up with waiting periods, coverage limits, yearly maximums, and absurd amounts of red tape, have opted to join our in-house membership plan, which, while NOT dental insurance, offers a viable alternative. For $270/year, our patients receive two cleanings, two doctor exams, unlimited diagnostic x-rays, two topical fluoride treatments, and a 15% discount on any treatment required. This service has been a massive value to our retired patients, as well as those who are less-than-thrilled with their dental insurance plans. Be sure to ask your dentist if they offer an in-house membership plan.
My advice is to call your dentist as soon as possible to get an appointment before the end of the year. Chances are, if you wait until mid- or late-December to call, then there may not be an open appointment until 2019. Like many businesses, dentists experience a palpable “end-of-the-year rush” around the holidays. You paid for your dental insurance benefits – so don’t leave getting your money’s worth up to chance.