It’s October, which means the open enrollment period for your dental insurance benefits has just begun. This is the only time you can adjust your dental insurance coverage before the beginning of next year, so once January 1st rolls around, you’re locked into whatever plan you choose now. This is the best (and only) time to go over your benefits and consider making any changes, so to make that process a little easier, we’re going to discuss a few factors you should consider when it comes to your dental insurance.
Most dental insurance plans have an annual maximum, which is the highest dollar amount your provider will pay for care per person, per year. On average, this amount is about $1,250 per person. A question you should ask yourself during open enrollment is, “Is this enough for me and my family?” If everyone is in good dental health and just needs checkups and cleanings, then you’re probably fine, but if you know someone on your plan is going to need more involved care (such as a child needing braces), it might be a good idea to bump up your coverage so your insurance will help reduce your out of pocket costs.
Even though you might not be thinking about changing your coverage going into the new year, your dental insurance provider might have a different idea. Providers change their policies all the time, and this may include what kinds of services are covered, how much they are covered for, as well as how much you have to pay before your benefits kick in (which is called a deductible). Make sure to talk to your provider and see how your plan will or will not change in the coming year. You may want to switch to a different plan if your current one isn’t going to work for you after it has been altered.
Your Dental Needs
A person’s dental needs change drastically throughout their life, and their dental insurance coverage should reflect that. You’re likely going to need more involved dental care as your family grows and as you age, so this open enrollment period is the time for you to consider if your policy is actually what you need moving forward. Perhaps you’re hoping to have a few teeth replaced in the near future, or maybe your spouse has some ongoing dental work that needs to be completed. Does your current plan offer you the most benefits you can possibly get in your particular situation? That’s definitely something to consider now, and it could easily show you that you could get better coverage with a different plan.
Figuring out how your dental insurance works and how much you’re covered for particular procedures can be a confusing process if you’re trying to assess your plan, but fortunately, there are a number of people who are willing to help. You can either call your insurance provider directly, or you can go the simple route and just talk to your dentist. Their team will be very familiar with all kinds of dental plans and will be able to tell you exactly how your current policy works with their practice. With this information, you can easily compare it to other plans and decide which one is best for you.
Just by keeping these things in mind and doing a little research, you can get the ideal dental insurance plan and go into the new year with the peace of mind that your family’s smiles are completely taken care of.
About the Author
Dr. David Cleveland is a general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist based in Marysville, OH. He believes that dental care should always be affordable, so he’s always willing to help his patients better understand their benefits so they can save more at their appointments. If you would like to learn more about everything you’ve just read, you can contact him through his website.