November 3, 2018
With the end of the year around the corner, it’s incredibly important that you understand the benefits provided to you annually. Unfortunately, many individuals who have insurance don’t try to maximize their benefits, whether it be a routine cleaning or more extensive treatment. In other cases, they aren’t as familiar with their insurance plan as they should be.
That’s why an Aetna dentist is prepared to not only explain the most essential terms to know, but how to maximize benefits before they expire.
Dental Insurance Terms to Know
Before you can start maximizing your dental benefits, you’ll need to make sure you have a thorough understanding of certain terms. Deductibles, coinsurance, and maximums all play a part in determining what you need to do next when getting the most out of your benefits.
Deductible – This refers to the amount of money you need to pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. Once you do however, you can start thinking about your annual maximum.
Maximum – When examining your insurance, take note of the amount tied to your annual maximum. This refers to how much money an insurance plan will put towards dental costs within a specific time period. This is typically a calendar year, which is why dentists often remind patients to use their benefits before January 1st. If you have multiple treatments to complete, dentists can help you stagger them out so you get the most out of your benefits without going over your maximum.
Coinsurance – This refers to the amount you pay for a covered procedure after meeting your deductible. The amount you’ll pay will vary depending on the type of treatment you choose.
Why Using Insurance Now Matters
Dentists push people to use their insurance benefits near the end of the year because they typically aren’t carried over into the following year. That means any money spent on insurance that could have been used on treatments disappears after December 31st. This is often referred to as “use it or lose it” and it also applies to money remaining in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs.)
How to Start Maximizing
After reading over your insurance, you’ll want to call either the insurance company directly or your employer so you can get a better breakdown of what benefits you have left to use. You can also speak with a dental employee at the practice’s front desk. They’re used to working with patients and explaining what coverage they can expect prior to treatment.
Once you know what treatment you have left to use, you can begin building a treatment plan with the dentist. For example, you can get that 2nd cleaning most plans offer or that cavity filled. You may also be able to complete a previous treatment plan, such as getting a crown placed.
Whatever treatment it is that you need, it’s important that you don’t let your insurance benefits or dollars go to waste. Schedule an appointment today to get started with a Cigna dentist!
About the Author
Dr. Brenda Gong earned her DDS degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an in-network provider with Aetna, Cigna and many other major insurance carriers. To learn more about her practice or get the most out of your benefits, you can contact her through her website.
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