With the End of Financial Year coming up, ads for EOFY sales are probably bombarding your TV screens. Your mind may start wandering during the commercial break, and you think about finances and insurance claims. And then it hits you: what about your dental health insurance? How do you get the most out of that?
Although most dental insurance cycles go by the usual January-December cycle (rather than following the financial calendar), now is a good time to think about optimising your dental health insurance so you can plan for the rest of the year.
What Did You Get?
Make sure you choose the right plan to begin with. There are so many different health insurance companies. Take advantage of any comparison websites so you get the best, comprehensive, and tailored deal to you.
It’s important for you to understand what coverage you’re looking for (and, when you get it, what your coverage actually is). Look at the details and especially take note of any limitations and exclusions from your dental coverage.
Also talk to your dentist about any plans they participate in or recommend. Good dentists will want to help their patients get the most out of their coverage without breaking the budget, so they’ll be more than happy to talk to you about insurance if you ask them.
And shop around. If, after a couple of years, you feel your dental insurance isn’t giving you enough bang for your buck, look at other companies. Insurance companies offer different deals every year to sweeten the deal.
Timing is Everything
Well, maybe not everything, but delaying or staggering your dental treatments can really help you in the long-run. Try to schedule your dental work for times when you will be eligible for the most insurance coverage.
If it’s coming up to the end of the year, and you’ve reached your maximum coverage cap, but you’ve still got some treatment to go, maybe delay that work until the start of the new year when your cap resets. That way, you pay minimum out-of-pocket.
Expensive treatments like crowns or root canal treatments that may be done in stages. These can be staggered so you can take advantage of your annual maximum coverage over two years instead of cramming it into one year and exceeding the max.
Prevent Not Treatment
The best thing you can do for your wallet as well as teeth is to take preventative measures rather than allowing bad health to get worse until you need treatment. Preventative steps, such as regular checks and cleans, are covered by most dental insurance plans. If your dentist is professionally cleaning your teeth every six months, that will save you from needing to get fillings in cavities that wouldn’t otherwise be detected.
Plan for the Worst
We all think we’ve got everything sorted until life throws a curve ball and we find ourselves desperately rushing around in an emergency situation. Plan for emergencies. Your dentist almost certainly has an emergency dentist they recommend you see when they’re on holiday.
Contact the recommended emergency dentist/clinic in advance to see if they accept your particular insurance provider. Also note down your emergency dentist’s details so you’ve always got it handy, just in case.
Out-of-Pocket in Your Pocket
You can ask your dentist to contact your dental insurance company before you start any expensive treatments to confirm what will be covered by your insurance. Your dentist will then be able to advise how much you’ll be paying out-of-pocket so you can make the most informed decision about if/when you’ll go ahead with treatment.