While flossing and brushing are essential to your dental health, choosing the right dental coverage is also as important. However, just like medical plans, dental plans can be confusing and you may not understand the benefits of having a plan or how to use one. Understanding your insurance plan can help you maximize your coverage for better oral health. Moreover, you could end up saving costs on dental care.

Here are some tips on how to get the most put of your dental plan.

Understand Your Plan

There are two types of plans, PPO and the HMO Plan. When choosing a dental plan, first ask what your maximum allowance is, if there are any copays, and what the deductibles are. The deductible is the amount paid by the patient before the coverage begins while a copayment is the amount due for each visit per your insurance agreement. Having this information will help you maximize your benefits.

Compare exclusions, coverage, calculation, and payment of benefits. If you already have a dentist be sure to ask him or her which plan they recommend.

Never Pay For More than Necessary for Insurance

Investing in individual dental insurance can help you save thousands of dollars annually on the cost of dental work. Nevertheless, you don’t need to overpay to get adequate insurance. Get different dental insurance quotes depending on your location.

Never Miss Your Cleanings or Dental Exams

Dental exams and cleanings are covered by your plan 100%. Going for regular exams and cleanings will help detect problems early. What’s more, the dentist can fix any issues which could otherwise lead to extensive damage and more costs. Ensure that you go to the dentist are least twice a year.

Know Your Annual Maximum

Almost all insurance plans have a limit, the maximum is the total maximum amount your policy pays each year. Knowing what your limit is will help you avoid extra costs in case you undergo an extensive treatment that requires more than your set limit. In the event that you reach the maximum, your dentist will file a claim and you’ll be responsible for the difference.

Avoid having extensive work done in various dental offices at the same time. Your insurance company will not pay any extras. Also, insurance companies have set a required number of x-rays, dental cleaning, and office visits which are covered on a yearly basis. Do not forget that a visit to your regular dentist is charged differently from visits to specialists. Knowing how your plan covers all these situations to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Timing is everything

You need to be smart about your timing to get the most out of your dental coverage. If a dentist recommends four procedures done, it’s always better to know when annual benefits renew. Get only the most important problems fixed before the due date. Avoid doing all the procedures all at once as they could exceed your maximum benefits.

Alternatively, you can have two procedures done in the months preceding your renewal date, and have the remaining ones done afterwards. You’ll no longer have to worry about your coverage running out. Plan the treatment in stages to maximize your plan payments. Also, be sure to get any dental work done before benefits expire.

Stay in-Network

Are you on a Health Maintenance Organization plan? Or are you covered by a Preferred provider Organization? Regardless of which plan you are on, it’s critical to stay in your dental plan network. Do this and you will incur the least expense possible. Straying away from your network could lead to loss of coverage, especially for HMOs.

With the PPO, you can make use of provisions for reduction of fees while working with an in-network dentist. Moreover, you get to enjoy the highest amount of coverage.

Speak To Your Dentist

Ask your dentist for a pre-treatment estimate to your insurer before getting expensive dental treatment. The insurer won’t pay for a treatment that isn’t necessary. Also, always start with procedures that improve your mental and dental health, before going for the cosmetic fixes. Ask your dentist if there are other alternative options to consider and seek second opinion if you’re not sure of the treatment recommended.

Get Creative with Unreimbursed Expenses

There are expenses you’re likely unable to cover even with the best planning and research. In such a case, an employer may be able to help. Some employers allow for a voluntary salary reduction for the amount you’re not able to cover. The reduced amount is then reimbursed tax free. An accountant or a tax-attorney can help you explore the different options available.

Policy details can be confusing and hard to understand. For the best help, speak to a dentist who has worked with several carriers and plans. He/she will help choose the right plan that gets you the most value for money. Moreover, you may be able to work out on a payment arrangement if there are remaining costs.