According to a survey carried out by APRA, 44% of Australians have private health cover yet when it comes to dental plans benefits, millions of dollars are lost every year by people who fail to take full advantage of their dental cover. This is akin to having an expensive gym membership you never use!
Did you know, for example, that in the vast majority of cases any dental benefits that aren’t used up by the end of the year, don’t roll over? Instead, they’re lost and your dental coverage simply resets to coincides with the start of the new year.
So, if you are one of those people who continually fail to use all their dental plan benefits, don’t worry because we have you covered. In this post, we’re going to look at ways in which you can squeeze every last drop out of your dental coverage. So let’s dive straight in…
Understand your policy
It may sound somewhat obvious but how do you know what dental benefits you are entitled to if you don’t know your health care policy?
Unfortunately, insurers don’t make it easy and there are often lots of ‘if’s’, ‘but’s’ and ‘loopholes’ you need to understand if you want to maximise your dental coverage.
So pull it out of the drawer, dust it off and read everything including the small print. If you are still in doubt, it might be worth calling your insurance provider and ask them to explain exactly what you are and aren’t entitled to in layperson terms.
Typically people will pay around $2000 per year for their medical health insurance so it doesn’t come cheap. With that, however, comes a wide range of dental treatments cover including dental check-ups, x-rays and dental cleaning. So while the end of the year is a busy time for most people, it’s well worth booking a dental appointment, especially if you have dental health funds remaining.
Remember, if you don’t actually visit the dentist you won’t benefit from any remaining extras cover contained within your policy. So if you are overdue a dental check-up or have a niggling tooth problem you keep putting off, now is the time to call your dentist.
The key to getting the most from your dental benefits is to plan early. During a dental appointment that occurs in the spring or summer, it might be worth talking to your dentist about what your ongoing dental needs are and what they are likely to be, moving towards the end of the year.
While no one can plan for dental emergencies, it does at least give you a handle on what you might be expected to pay by the end of the year and therefore it becomes easier to calculate when to utilise your dental plans benefits across the course of the year.
Take preventative measures
When it comes to dentistry, prevention is better than cure. By having that dental check-up before the end of the year, you not only utilise some or all of your remaining dental coverage but a check-up can help to highlight and treat any problems now before they escalate and become more expensive to treat.
If, for instance, you have developed a problem and know that it will cost more than your dental plan allows, why not talk to your dentist about scheduling an appointment now to start fixing the problem, then make another in the new year when you have sufficient coverage to complete the treatment.
It’s a win/win situation. You get the dental treatment you need now while utilising any remaining cover from your dental health fund.
Don’t forget the kids
If you’ve enrolled in a family plan, now is the time to make the most of any remaining dental plan benefits. It can be a difficult time to get an appointment once the end of year holidays are in full swing and a child with a toothache is likely to put a damper on any holiday plans you might have. So a general check-up and clean for all the family might be a good idea. You can even make a day of it – dental check-ups for the whole family in the morning followed by a rewarding treat in the afternoon.
Talk to your dentist
A good dentist will want to work with you to ensure that your oral health remains in great condition. This includes helping you to maximise your dental coverage. Think about it this way, dentists work with dental health funds all the time and will have a good understanding of how you can make the most from any remaining cover you might have. They might suggest a flexible approach that enables you to get the dental treatments and care needed – one that you might not have even thought about. So go ahead and talk to them, you might be surprised at how much they can help.
Don’t forget your dentures
If you wear dentures you might not be aware that dental ‘extras’ cover may also include professional denture cleaning. Just like natural teeth, your dentures will need a professional cleaning from time to time. This is a great way to use up any remaining dental cover you have left and besides, starting the festive season with a gleaming set of teeth is never a bad thing, so do check your policy to see if dentures are also covered.
For most dental practices, the Christmas period is a busy time, but provided that you don’t leave it to the last minute, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to maximise any remaining dental plans benefits before the year is out.
Call the team at Infinity Dental Care today at (02) 9159 6237 and end the year with fully used dental benefits and a healthy, happy smile.