Dental Health Insurance – How To Get The Most Out Of Yours?
If you’re among the 55% of the population that currently have dental health insurance then you’ll already know that you have an extra’s limit -or rather, the amount you can claim back. What you might not know, however, is that pretty much all health funds will reset their extra’s cover at the start of each calendar year – namely Jan 1st.
The key point here is that any extra’s that you haven’t managed to claim for during the calendar year won’t be carried over. Instead, they are lost and your cover is reset.
In reality, therefore, when it comes to dental insurance at least, it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it.’ So as the calendar is counting down towards the end of the year, we thought that we would give you some timely hints and tips on how to squeeze the most out of your dental health insurance before any remaining extra’s cover you have expires.
Let’s take a closer look…
Tip #1 – Don’t Forget To Claim
This may seem like a bit of a no-brainer but you won’t squeeze any last benefits out of your insurance if you don’t actually claim. So if you’ve been putting off routine dental procedures for a while, perhaps now is the time to make the call. You might want to check your health fund’s policy small print to make sure that you do actually have cover left, but if all is good, it pays to use it on something worthwhile, like taking care of your oral health.
Tip #2 – Think Strategically
A great way to get real value out of your dental insurance is to spread your claims out strategically. For example, when you visit your dentist for a dental procedure like a check-up it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to claim back a certain percentage or dollar amount for your dental examination and your scale and clean. However, during this appointment, your dentist may have spotted a couple of cavities and (rightly so) suggest that you need a couple of fillings.
If you have already used up your annual limit for general dental services, then you could ask your dentist to postpone any filings treatment until after your health fund’s reset point, thus reducing any out of pocket expenses you might incur. Thinking smart with your dental insurance is a great way to get the most out of your current health fund while saving you money and getting the treatment you need.
Tip #3 – Offsetting Your Health Fund’s Cover
If you already know you require regular dental procedures that are more costly, then you might want to consider taking out a higher premium. Now I know that might seem counterintuitive, but hear me out…
It’s very easy to blow all your extra’s cover on costly but much needed dental services or procedures and before you know it, you have no cover left on your dental health insurance and it only says March or April. Naturally, this can leave you in a costly predicament, especially if you may need unexpected treatment over the course of the rest of the year.
Wouldn’t it be better, therefore, to pay an initially higher premium on your dental insurance thus increasing the number of benefits you might be able to recoup while reducing any out-of-pocket expenses? The idea being that the out-of-pocket expenses you’ll save are likely to offset the further cost of your health fund’s premium. Well, that’s the plan anyway!
Tip #4 – Take Advantage of Complete Cover
Firstly, by attending regular dental procedures like check-up’s and initiating your 100% cover policy, you are of course keeping abreast of your oral health. But equally, any cash saved here might be better used up alongside your remaining premium on other much needed dental procedures before the end of the reset period.
Tip #5 – Consider Longer-Term or Split Dental Services
When it gets towards the end of the financial year, now may be the perfect time to consider undertaking longer-term or split treatments like orthodontic dental procedures or bridgework.
Typically, dentists are able to divide the cost of longer or split treatments into several instalments. So while the work will still need to be partly paid by you and the rest can be covered by your excess dental health insurance, you might not need to pay and claim right away.
In fact, your dentist may even be able to work it so that some payment is made now at the start of your treatment and again at the beginning of next year when your treatment has been fully completed, and your dental premium has been reset. Ultimately you get to squeeze every last drop out of your extra’s amount for this period while getting a costly treatment or dental service you want or need.
The key takeaway
Insurance companies aren’t great at telling you that you should use up your premium or lose it and it’s understandable why. However, by being smart with your dental health insurance cover and talking to your dentist, there are clever ways that you can maximise every drop of benefit before it resets, while you continue to get the ongoing dental care you need.
To find out more about how we can help you to get the treatment you want while getting the best from your dental insurance, come and talk to the team at Beyond Infinity Dental in Castle Hill today. Give us a call at (02) 8806 3799.