Health Tip of the Month Knowing your Dental Insurance Benefits
Most full time employees are fortunate enough to have employers that provide some form of dental insurance benefits. Many employers provide above average dental insurance benefits for their employees.
Plans vary greatly from insurance companies and group benefits, but generally they consist of the following:
- Yearly maximum dollar amount that is covered for the insured. This is usually based on a calendar year ending December 31st.
- A percentage of coverage for basic services. Basic Services are cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings, extractions and normally root canal treatments. This percentage usually varies, from plan to plan, from 80 – 100%.
- Major Services (crowns, bridges, dentures) are usually covered at a lower percentage (normally 50-80%).
Some people are fortunate enough to be insured not only through their own place of employment but also their spouse’s. This situation allows the insured to co-ordinate their benefits to allow for greater returns. Example: if both plans cover crowns at 50% the insured can use both plans to pay nothing from their own pocket. Yearly maximums are also combined.
Too many people do not utilize their dental benefits to the full potential, often not visiting the dentist at all. If you have dental insurance, you are truly in a fortunate position and should take advantage of the coverage, with the knowledge that there are many people out there that would love the opportunity.
Also, don’t wait till the end of your insured period to seek dental advice/treatment. All too often, patients visit the dentist just days prior to their insurance period expiring; only to find out they require treatments that will take longer than they are insured for! For example, many plans run January to December and then you get a new amount again in January or some plans end depending on your contracts. Don’t wait till the last minute! Visit your dentist today!