February 21, 2018
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.