Your Dental Benefits for the Year Ahead

by MikeMeehan 2/21/2018 12:26 PM

Now that 2018 is well underway, your yearly expense planning may also be in progress. As you’re organizing your finances and other paperwork in preparation of tax season, it’s also a great time to check on the status of your dental benefits. Here are some things to consider. First, check to see if your dental benefits renew at the calendar year or the contract year, which is usually based on when your plan actually took effect. For example, if your benefits started in April, your benefits would typically renew 12 months later, in April. If your benefits renew at the calendar year, the annual slate will typically be wiped clean on your benefits such as: Deductible: Your deductible is the set dollar amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your dental plan begins to pay for covered services, so you’ll need to meet this amount again for 2018. Preventive services, such as exams and cleanings, are typically covered regardless of whether your deductible has been met. Annual maximum: This is the maximum amount your dental plan will pay toward your dental care within a specific period, often a calendar year. Your annual maximum reset if your plan renewed January 1. If you were holding off on treatment because you reached your 2017 annual maximum, you may want to schedule an appointment now. While you’re assessing your dental benefits, you may also want to review where you stand on lifetime maximums. This is the maximum amount of money your plan will pay toward specific services, such as orthodontics and prosthodontics, over the course of a lifetime. Many services have no lifetime maximum. Always check the specifics of your dental plan to understand any applicable maximums or deductibles.  

Save Money With In-Network Dentists

by MikeMeehan 12/6/2017 1:21 PM

During the holidays, a lot of us are spending money on gifts, decorations, entertaining, traveling, and donations. Luckily, you can save money at your dental appointments by visiting a Delta Dental in-network dentist. If you’re watching your pennies this time of year, think about the money you’re saving or could save when you visit a Delta Dental dentist. We’ve created a chart below so you can see an example of the savings for a common procedure. Delta Dental in-network dentists have agreed to pre-established fees on most common dental procedures for Delta Dental members. Every network dentist also goes through a credentialing process, so you know you’re getting quality care and saving on out-of-pocket costs. Another benefit of using our extensive dentist network is protection from “balance billing.” Our in-network dentists have agreed not to charge more than Delta Dental’s allowed fees. Delta Dental dentists will not bill you for the difference between the allowed fee and their usual fee, also known as balance billing. You can choose to visit an out-of-network dentist, but the fees will be higher. Also keep in mind, you may be balance billed if you go out of network. Take a look at the chart below for an example of the money you can save: Example Savings for a Common Procedure   Estimated Charge Maximum Allowed Fee Percentage Paid by Delta Dental Amount Delta Dental Pays Amount Dentist can Balance Bill Total Amount You Pay Your Total Cost Savings Delta Dental PPOSM Network $1,200 $850 50% $425 $0 $425 $350 Delta Dental Premier® Network $1,200 $975 50% $487.50 $0 $487.50 $225 Out-of-Network $1,200 $1,100 50% $550 $100 $650 $0     You can find a Delta Dental in-network dentist by using the Find a Dentist tool or our free mobile app. We have more than 152,000 dentists in our nationwide network.

Focus on Preventive Care: The main difference between dental and medical coverage

by MikeMeehan 10/18/2017 4:39 PM

Cavities are almost 100% preventable. Let’s say that again – cavities are preventable. That means it’s within your power to avoid tooth decay. This is a great thing to remember when you’re considering skipping your dentist visit or going to bed without two minutes of brushing. It’s also one of the reasons dental benefits and medical benefits are designed differently. Preventive care is the focus One of the main differences between dental and medical coverage is the focus on preventive care. While you know healthy choices can decrease your chances of getting sick, medical insurance is used when you do get sick or have an injury. With dental benefits, preventive care is the focus. If you visit the dentist for exams, cleanings and X-rays, you can stop oral health problems before they start. Visiting your dental care provider twice a year for cleanings, which is part of your dental coverage, is preventive care. To promote preventive care, many benefit plans with cover all or most of the cost of routine dental cleanings and examinations. Preventive care in addition to your dental benefits includes practicing good oral health habits like brushing twice a day and flossing. Add all this together with smart food and lifestyle choices, and you’ve got yourself a healthy smile. To sum this up, we use medical benefits when we have a health issue, and we use our dental benefits to prevent dental issues. You can live a healthy life with exercise and a good diet, but you can still get sick. You can visit your dentist, brush your teeth and make good oral health choices and you can prevent oral health problems. Emergencies Another difference when comparing dental benefits and medical benefits is emergencies. Dental care emergencies are rare. Getting a tooth knocked out can require emergency care, but dental emergencies do not happen often especially compared to medical emergencies. Medical benefits reflect this difference in care, such as ER and urgent care facility coverage. Stop problems before they begin Dental benefits work to stop problems before they begin. If you work hard with your preventive care, like visiting the dentist routinely, that can help avoid bigger and more costly problems in the future, like cavities or gum disease. Despite the differences between medical and dental benefits, we believe oral health is a big part of your overall health. Study your dental plan to learn more about your coverage, and remember the power of prevention.

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