Attention all professionals with dental insurance benefits who haven’t been to the dentist this year: Your benefits are probably about to expire. Most dental benefits provided or enabled by your employer expire on or near December 31st every year. Whether it’s your employer’s premiums money or your own saved pre-tax dollars, your dental benefits fund is going to expire at the end of the year, leaving your limit reset or your savings have gone by New Year (or next March at the absolute latest).
If you don’t use those dental benefits this year, you are going to miss out on the chance. So even if you don’t like going to the dentist, now is the time to do the needful and take advantage of your soon-to-expire dental benefits. And today, we’re here to help you do it right.
What Kind of Dental Benefits do You Have?
Dental Benefits Plan: Your Employer’s Money is Waiting to be Spent
If your employer provides a dental benefits plan, they’ve been paying premiums into that plan all year. That is money paid upfront for you to visit the dentist for preventative or necessary procedures. If you don’t go, there was no point in having dental benefits in the first place. Why turn down free dental visits waiting to be spent? Especially if you can spend them on your kids.
Flexible Spending Plan: Your Pre-Tax Savings Are About to Disappear
If your employer made a flexible spending plan available to you, your money has been deducted pre-tax to go into that account. If you don’t use it, that’s a portion of your salary gone to the insurance companies for no reason or benefit. It’s time to use up every scrap of your flexible spending plan that will not rollover. Some plans roll $500 a year over; some don’t roll over any. Know your limit and get spending before your money disappears. Some employers allow up to 2 months flex-time if you missed the deadline before New Year, but know for sure before delaying.
How to Use Your Dental Benefits Before You Lose Them
Find Out What is Covered
Investigate what your plan covers. Know which dentists you can visit and which procedures you can access completely cost-free or very close to cost-free. Most likely, this will include cleanings, deep cleanings, and most necessary dental procedures. But most likely not cosmetic procedures. Also, find out whether your spouse and/or children are on the plan so they can benefit as well.
- Which dentists you can visit who will accept your plan.
- Which dental procedures are fully or almost-fully covered.
You and Family
- Who other than you can take advantage of the dental appointments?
While there’s still time (and for next year), plan to use up your dental benefits all year long for the most benefit to you.
Year-Round Preventative Appointments
- Go to dentist appointments more frequently, or take your kids in more frequently anyway.
Don’t Put In More Than You Need
- If you have a flexible savings plan, put in less next year if you didn’t need it this year.
Use Them Up
Finally, make sure you take full advantage of your dental benefits before the year rolls over. Fortunately, back-to-school and the holiday season are a great time to visit the dentist before you dig into those piles of sweet holiday treats.
Holiday Season Dental Visits
- Set up your final dental appointments this autumn before the holiday season is in full swing
Dental Visits for the Whole Family
- Take the whole family in for cleanings and check-ups to use up those benefits
Spring for the Deep Cleaning, You(‘re Plan is) Worth It
- Go for the deep cleaning, if it is covered (they often are). Get everyone in the family deep cleanings. Your plan has the room, and your teeth will thank you in the long run.
Don’t let your dental benefits expire without you! Contact us today for more financial tips.
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