Are you one of the almost 50 million Americans who have access to employer-sponsored dental benefits? If so, are you taking advantage of them? Or are you letting your benefits sit idle and go unused? If so, this article is for you. If you’re reading this, we’ll assume that means you have access to dental coverage through your employer. That’s great news!
You should take advantage of it as much as possible. After all, it doesn’t hurt to have another potential source of affordable healthcare locked away just in case things get tight. In fact, given how expensive dentistry has become in the past few years and how little insurance companies typically cover for routine checkups, cleaning, and other procedures most people need regularly to keep their teeth healthy and happy, anything that can help defray some of those costs is a good thing.
What Are Employer-Sponsored Dental Benefits?
When we talk about dental benefits, we’re referring to coverage your employer might offer in one form or another as part of any employee benefits package. That’s in addition to the medical coverage you may already have through the same plan. For the most part, dental coverage comes in one of two forms: – Dental insurance – Dental flexible spending accounts These types of benefits can range from being extremely generous and covering a substantial amount of your dental costs to providing you with access to a discount dental plan that’s simply there to help you save a little bit of money on your dental bills.
Why so many Employees Don’t Utilize Their Dental Benefits
This may be the most important part of this discussion because it’s the only way to know how to fix the problem. If we don’t know what’s causing the issue, we can’t find a solution and get everything back on track again. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why so many employees simply don’t use the dental benefits they have available to them.
Here are the top reasons:
- Employees Think Their Dental Benefits Aren’t Good Enough
- Employees Feel Dental Care isn’t worth the money
- Employees are Afraid of the Insurance Company Getting their information wrong
- Employees Think Their Dental Benefits Aren’t Good Enough-One of the biggest problems with dental plans is that they vary greatly from company to company. There’s no industry standard when it comes to dental coverage, which means the amount and type of coverage you’re given could be wildly different from what your coworker is given.
– Employees Feel Dental Care isn’t worth the money – This is, of course, subjective. However, if you think that a dental visit isn’t worth the cost, then you probably won’t be inclined to use your benefits. If you have low-cost or high-cost coverage, you may have to take time off from work to visit the dentist. This means losing time and money from your paycheck. Because of this, some people may be reluctant to use their dental plan for fear of losing time at work. The truth is that neglecting preventable dental carries most always leads to more money and even more time off work than it would have been to come in for a simple cleaning and checkup. Putting off regular dental visits may lead to bigger, more expensive problems down the road.
3 Reasons Employees Ignore Their Dental Benefit Coverage
Unfortunately, the list above isn’t the only reason why so many employees ignore their dental benefits. There are other issues that may cause you to overlook your dental coverage.
Here are three of them:
- Employees don’t know how the dental plan works – Let’s say you have low-cost dental coverage. You may be reluctant to use it because you don’t know how it works. For example, you may think that you have to get all of your dental work done at the dentist’s office before you can use the coverage. That’s not the case. You can have your teeth cleaned and examined at any dentist’s office as long as your dentist accepts your dental coverage.
- Employees don’t know how to take advantage of their dental plan – Perhaps you have high-cost dental coverage and you don’t know what to do with it. For example, you may know that you have dental coverage but you don’t know how to take advantage of it. If you have pre-existing dental conditions, your dental plan may not pay for certain procedures even if they’re covered.
- Employees are afraid of the dentist- You may be reluctant to use your dental plan because you hate the dentist. It’s understandable. But the last thing you want to do is let your dental coverage expire.
Seek the advice of professionals if you have questions regarding your coverage. You can always speak to someone in your HR, your insurance carrier’s customer service line or call any of our dedicated and knowledgeable staff at either our Irvine, CA or Mission Viejo location. At Mission Viejo Dental Specialists and OC Dental Specialists, we pride ourselves on providing you with not only the highest quality dental care but also some of the industry’s most knowledgeable dental professionals. Rather you have questions about plan coverage, benefits, procedures, financing or guidance on planning the steps of your procedures, our dedicated and knowledgeable staff are here to help.
The Biggest Reason Your Insurance Company is Laughing at You Right Now
Let’s say you have dental coverage through your employer. You also have dental coverage through an individual dental plan that you purchased yourself. Now, let’s say that you have a dental problem that requires two $1,000 procedures. Most dental plans will cover the first $1,000 or 50%-60% of major procedures and then your employer’s dental plan will cover the other $1,000. This means you’re paying $0 out-of-pocket. Great, right? Well, what if you had simply used the dental coverage through your employer and didn’t purchase the individual dental plan? If you’re using your employer’s dental benefits, you’re only responsible for your share of the premiums, which are often very reasonable. But if you’re buying dental insurance on your own and it’s not through an Affordable Care Act exchange, dental insurance premiums can be extremely expensive and can quickly eat up any benefit you’re getting from your employer’s plan.
4 Things You Should Always Do With Your Dental Benefit Plan
– Take advantage of your dental plan and visit the dentist regularly – You should visit the dentist at least once a year and more often if you have a dental problem or want to keep an eye on a potential problem that could cause you serious problems down the road if it isn’t treated quickly.
– Utilize your dental flexible spending account – If your employer offers a dental flexible spending account, take advantage of it. It’s basically a way for you to put pre-tax dollars towards the dental care you need. This means you save money by reducing your taxable income.
– Stay up-to-date on your dental coverage and costs – You need to stay on top of your dental coverage so you know what you’re covered for and how much your dental procedures are costing you.
-See a knowledgeable dental professional that will help you maximize your dental coverage and reduce your out of pocket expenses. At Mission Viejo Dental Specialists and OC Dental Specialists, we pride ourselves on providing you with not only the highest quality dental care but also some of the industry’s most knowledgeable dental professionals. As a multi-specialty practice we are able to help you bill both your medical and dental carrier to maximize your coverage. Call today and ask one of our dedicated billing specialist how we can help reduce your cost and increase your coverage.
Bottom line: Don’t waste your dental benefits!
If you have dental insurance, you should take full advantage of it. Not only can a dental plan help you save money, but it can also help you prevent serious problems from occurring. However, it’s easy to waste dental benefits if you’re not careful. Make sure that you know exactly what your plan covers and what it doesn’t. Also, make sure you understand any in-network requirements and restrictions that are placed on your policy. Finally, don’t be afraid to call us and schedule with dentists who accept your insurance. For quality, affordable dental care contact us at one of our conveniently located locations.
Open late Evenings and Weekends, Accepts Both Medical and Dental Insurances, cash and Flexible financing available.