2016 is well underway…over halfway complete, actually…how quickly time passes! While most of us are focused on enjoying summer, some may have given some thought to plans for this fall, or even the holiday season (wasn’t that just here?). Dentally-speaking, this serves as a good reminder (friendly, of course!) about planning just a bit to ensure that you’re utilizing insurance benefits so that you can rest easy for the remainder of the year.
The thought of “wasting things” can make many of us cringe, especially when we think back to the advice of parents and grandparents. For most patients, insurance plans are based on a calendar year schedule, meaning that benefits will expire at year’s end, including unused insurance, HSA, and Flex-Spending benefit balances, with deductibles being reset as well. Every plan is different, though, which could mean that your renewal may occur even sooner. Today’s media constantly highlights ways to cut back on expenses, and recycling and repurposing is hip—this is all reflective of the present economic times–and just good sense in our opinion! Utilizing unused insurance benefits before they expire is yet another way to be a “savvy saver”.
So, where to begin? Maybe you still have some fillings or a crown to do. Perhaps time’s gotten away, and you’re past-due for your active maintenance cleaning and exam. It could be that this is the ideal opportunity to finally replace those silver fillings that you’ve hated for years, repair that annoying chipped tooth, or straighten your smile with Invisalign. Regardless, you have paid for your insurance benefits, either factored into your compensation package at work or via out-of-pocket premiums, and deserve to utilize them.
For most patients, the major cost of dentistry comes from waiting too long to do treatment. We know you’re probably doing fine, but always want to be sure that patients are aware of all treatment options, and the possible outcomes of whatever they choose.
Things get even busier at year’s end, as so many patients are eager to utilize remaining benefits. Some patients do miss the opportunity to complete their treatment by year’s end simply because of busy holiday schedules and the lack of availability for appointments. Planning your appointments early will help to ensure availability that is ideal for your schedule.
Making the cost of treatment more comfortable is different for every patient. Many patients elect to earn rewards points by paying for treatment with debit/credit cards. We offer up to 12 months of interest-free financing for most dental services through CareCredit and CitiHealth, with up to 18 months of interest-free financing available for Invisalign treatment. Additional extended plans are available as well, and our team members would be glad to discuss all of the options with you.
Our insurance gurus, Ginny and Lauren, would be happy to help you any questions you may have regarding treatment, benefits, patient financing, and maximizing your benefits—most of this information can be easily e-mailed as well!
So, don’t let those unused insurance benefits go to waste…your teeth will thank you!
Doctors Jon and Valle Rischer of Dentistry by Design in Columbia, Missouri, offer patients the highest quality of general, cosmetic, and neuromuscular dentistry services in a comfortable and caring setting. To schedule an appointment, or to learn more about the services we offer, please contact our team today.
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