During this time of year when holiday gatherings start filling in the schedule, it’s often easy to forget using up flexible spending funds, or maximizing insurance benefits. Here are some points to consider that can save you hundreds of dollars.
Flexible Spending Health Accounts:
These health spending accounts represent tax-free money that workers set aside for health expenses and if they are not used, they are lost. Research shows that many people leave behind unused funds at year’s end. But please remember, ‘if you don’t use it –you lose it’ in regards to flexible spending dollars.
A deductible is the amount of money that you must pay before a medical or dental procedure will be paid through your insurance company. For many patients, deductibles have already been met by this time of year and for most, that amount needs to get paid all over again after January 1st. If you have already met your deductible for the year, it’s a great time to fit in those extra dental or medical appointments.
In regards to dental insurance, yearly maximums often apply. Typically that means that your dental insurance may pay for a certain number of dollars per year (after your deductible is met) and that’s it. Consider maximizing this full amount with necessary treatment especially if your deductible has been met. We have found that typically if an ‘emergency’ situation arises in one calendar year, the entire year’s allowance is often used to treat that area leaving little for other recommended treatment. Since ‘unused dental dollars’ do not rollover to the next calendar year, it’s often best to use them up freeing benefits should a dental emergency arise in the future.
Whether you use your insurance or not, you are paying out monthly premiums. Even if you elect not to perform non-emergency medical, dental or optometric treatments, regular check-ups just make sense. Coming from a family heritage of ‘not wasting’ resources, it’s always been difficult to watch patients keep paying monthly premiums and not coming in for regular preventative or maintenance procedures like cleanings and exams. Often, unchecked conditions can escalate and in the long run cost you far more in medical and dental costs.
Increase in fees:
Many practice; medical and dental often consider raising fees after the first of the year. As costs of supplies, equipment and overall expenses increase, typically fee increases need to be considered. Getting those advised procedures before years end, can get your billings out on lower fee schedule, ultimately leading to lower co-pays.
Now that you realize the benefits of completing treatment in the next few weeks, see our following post for a list of procedures to consider in maximizing your benefits before the end of the year.
Sherman Oaks Dental, located in Naperville, Illinois has been providing family dental care for patients from Naperville, Wheaton, Aurora, Lisle and Chicago surrounding areas for over two decades.