You pay for it every month and you know it’s important, but do you understand how your dental insurance works? Many patients don’t, and as a result, end up avoiding, delaying, or overpaying for their dental work. While your dental insurance policy may seem complicated and confusing at first, there are a few basic tips to keep in mind that can help you understand how it works. Read on as your Danville dentist shares seven practical ways to make the most out of your dental insurance plan.
1.) Review Your Policy Paperwork
As you may suspect, not all dental insurance policies are the same. You’ll need to read through the paperwork of your specific plan to understand exactly what it does and doesn’t cost. While this can be somewhat time consuming and boring, it’s essential. If you like, you can bring your paperwork to your next dental appointment and your dental team will likely be able to review your policy details with you.
2.) Try to Stay “In-Network”
“In-network” dental offices have agreed to your insurance provider’s fees for treatment plans, so you’ll only need to pay a percentage of them out of pocket. However, just because a provider is “out of network” doesn’t mean they’re not covered—the percentage of treatment your plan covers may simply be reduced.
3.) Read Your EOB
An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is given to both the dentist and the patient every time a claim is paid for or denied. Always read your EOB and compare it to your itemized receipt from your dental appointment to ensure everything has been paid for correctly. If something doesn’t match up or a service wasn’t paid for, call your insurance company.
4.) Ask for a “Pre-Determination” of Benefits
Before performing a treatment, you can ask your in-network dental provider to send a “pre-determination” of benefits to your insurance company. They’ll process the estimate and send a statement showing exactly what they would cover, giving you the most accurate information ahead of time.
5.) Know the Limits
Almost all dental insurance companies have an annual maximum, or the maximum amount your policy will pay per year. Once you’ve reached your annual maximum, you’ll be responsible for paying for the remaining costs. To avoid finding yourself with an unexpected bill, find out how much of your annual maximum is left before starting any extensive treatments.
6.) Plan Multi-Stage Treatment Accordingly
If possible, try scheduling your multi-stage treatments in such a way that your annual maximum renews itself between stages. Additionally, your unused annual maximum doesn’t carry over, so try to start your dental treatments before the end of the year to make the most out of it.
7.) Get a Dental Checkup Twice a Year
The best way to spend less on extensive dental work is to avoid needing it. Most plans will completely cover two checkups and cleanings every year, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of them. Routine preventive care will help your dentist spot and stop small issues before they become larger, more uncomfortable, and more expensive problems later.
Dental insurance plans can be somewhat confusing, but it’s important to understand how your specific policy works. This key information can make it more affordable to keep your smile happy, healthy, and intact for life!
About the Practice
Danville Dental Associates is dedicated to making high-quality dental care as affordable and stress-free as possible. As a courtesy to their patients, they file all insurance claims for all insurance carriers free of charge as well as pre-authorizations. Additionally, they also offer the Danville Dental Membership Program to help you save money on your treatments. If you would like to learn more, they can be contacted via their website or at (434) 822-0500.