Wow has 2018 gone fast, can you believe that the busy holiday season is upon us already? With the craziness and festivities around this time of year, many patients put off dental and medical visits until the New Year. Did you know that the most insurance benefits and Flexible Spending programs start over at the beginning of the year? Meaning that any dollars that you haven’t used on your dental plan or Flex Plan or any dollars that you applied to your annual medical or dental deductible restart on January 1st.
What does this mean?
Good question! When it comes to medical plans many of us have a deductible; this is the amount that the insurance expects us to pay before we receive our full benefit amount or in some cases before the plan pays anything. If you have tests, procedures or other medically related expenses, it is financially beneficially to get them done before the end of the year so that the deductible that you have already paid doesn’t go to waste. As for your Flex plan; when you put pre-tax dollars into this valuable account, you have one year to use them. If you don’t use those dollars they disappear and not only do you lose the benefit of tax-free money but also the money itself. While the medical and flex-plan concepts can be a bit confusing, dental insurance is very straightforward. What you don’t use you lose. While a new start sounds like great news, it can be deceiving. Those 2 “free” cleanings are gone, if not used, along with the premiums that you and your employer paid towards the plan. Here’s an example: Let’s say you have $1500 in dental benefits for each calendar year. You have used $400 in those dental benefits so far. Your remaining benefits are $1100. At the end of the year, the $1100 worth of dental coverage in 99% of cases will not roll over.
What does this mean for you?
If your dental provider has planned treatment needs for you, why not use those benefits? Many patients remember to use their insurance in December when most dental practices are at their busiest times. We suggest taking care of all dental needs as expeditiously as you can. Addressing dental issues when they are small helps to prevent those issues or treatment into growing into more serious ones or even worse dental pain. It also helps to ensure that you can be seen by your dentist in a timely manner. If it’s been a while since you saw a dentist, the end of the year is a fantastic time to get back on track. Not only will your smile sparkle and you look your best at the company Christmas party but you will be starting 2019 with a healthier you. Oral health and overall health go hand-in-hand, put yourself first and call your dentist today.
To do list:
- Schedule any doctor visits or tests that you have been putting off this year
- Order those glasses or contacts that you want but just haven’t gotten around to.
- Have you refilled that prescription that you ran out of a couple of months ago? Some companies allow you to order a few months’ worths of medication for large savings.
- Call your dentist and schedule that treatment or even just that cleaning that has been on your task list since last year.
As the clock continues to tick toward the new year, we hope that in addition to caring for your health and that of your family, you enjoy the magical chaos of the holidays.
Dr. Edward L. Loev, DMD has been caring for his patients for decades from his dental office that overlooks San Francisco’s Union Square. He and his team take pride in providing the best quality and most gentle dental care available. Over the years they have transformed 100’s of “non-dentist” people into people who enjoy their visits and take pride in their smiles. A dental relationship should be a positive one, make sure that you feel comfortable and cared for by your dentist if the experience is “meh…” then ask friends, family, and colleagues about their dentist. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and are in need or want of a new dentist. Dr. Loev and his team would love the opportunity to meet you and earn your trust and loyalty call them at 415-392-2072 or schedule an appointment online today