How to Get the Most from Your Dental Benefits

Get the Maximum Use of Group Dental Insurance

Dental Benefits

When it comes to protecting your health and having a nice bright smile, nothing beats heading to the dentist for regular oral hygiene. Many workplaces understand this is important to employees, so they offer dental benefits as part of the overall group benefits package. Dental benefits are similar to medical insurance, but they are to be utilized differently in order to get the maximum benefit. Let’s learn more about dental benefits and how to get the most from this workplace perk.

The Basics of Group Dental Benefits

There are a couple of ways that most employers offer dental benefits. First, the employer may offer a standardized dental benefit program that include one to three levels of coverage. Basic coverage generally includes preventative care, such as an annual cleaning and x-rays to check bone density. Higher levels of dental benefits may include additional coverage for specialize dental care and orthodontics, with capped dollar amounts for each procedure. It’s important to evaluate your current dental health to choose the right dental benefit coverage. If you have children under the age of 18, your employer must provide you with access to dental benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

The costs of dental insurance are low in comparison with other types of health and financial wellness products. For example, a family dental benefit plan may run as little as $30 USD per pay period, with coverage amounts up to $2,000 for routine dental care for each family member.

Cost management comes from using an HMO or PPO plan, which dictates what dental provider to visit for dental care.

Additionally, there are dental plans that offer a discount rate for certain services. For example, an employee can purchase a dental discount that gives them 25 percent off the customary and standard cost for dental services.

There are also dental indemnity plans, which frequently have higher premiums and co-pays for dental services, but set a flat rate for each time you visit the dentist.

For oral surgery cases, it’s important to note that regular medical insurance may pick up the costs of some of this care. This is especially true for out-patient care and hospital stays as a result of a serious oral procedure (for example: complications from infection).

Getting the Most from Dental Benefits

The sad truth is that oftentimes consumers purchase group dental insurance and then don’t use it. According to a report from the US Senate, as of 2012 nearly 130 million Americans did not have dental coverage. Less than 3 percent of those who did have insurance, did not meet their coverage cap, based on data from the National Association of Dental Providers. The only reason to get dental coverage is to take steps to make best use of all the benefits it provides. Here are some ways to get the most from dental benefits.

#1 – Schedule regular dental visits following the recommended frequency.

Your dental insurance is likely geared for preventative care, which means you will want to visit your dentist at least once or twice a year for a cleaning.

X-rays and other procedures may be limited to once per plan year. Be sure to schedule your dental hygiene appointments with your in-network provider as soon as possible to get the maximum benefit of your dental coverage.

#2 – Report any dental concerns promptly to your provider.

To get the most from your dental insurance, you must be a smart consumer. Follow the recommended care scheduled for your oral hygiene. Brush your teeth and floss daily, and take note of the condition of your teeth and gums each time. If you notice the signs of trouble, such as bleeding gums, pain, or lose teeth – report this as soon as possible to your dentist to avoid the high costs of emergency care.

#3 – Use your HSA to cover the out-of-pocket costs for the plan year.

If you are eligible for a high deductible health care plan and your employer offers you a health savings account, you can save a great deal on dental insurance.

Use your HSA account to pay for any and all out-of-pocket costs associated with using your dental insurance. For example, if you have a co-payment due at the time of service, present your HSA card. This allows you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for dental expenses. 

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