Don’t Let Your Child’s Unused Dental Benefits Expire in 2021

It’s almost time for the holidays. Before you know it, the kids will be out of school, you’ll be doing shopping, and we’ll all be making lists of our New Year’s goals. Might we add one item to your family’s to-do list? Schedule a checkup with our kids dentist in Vista before your annual dental benefits expire.

Take Advantage of Your Insurance Coverage Before Dec 31st

Most dental insurance plans run from January to December. They typically include 100% coverage on two kids checkups per year. For children that also means access to essential services like cleanings, fluoride, sealants, and orthodontic screenings. You’re paying a monthly premium for those perks anyway, so it’s best to make the most of your investment.

Unfortunately, whatever coverage you don’t use by December 31st expires at midnight. Your plan will reset the next day, on January 1st.

The majority of dental insurance plans will cover checkups every six months. But some allow two per year, regardless of when they’re scheduled. If your children haven’t seen a dentist since the pandemic or only once this year, it’s time to go ahead and make that second appointment before time runs out.

Making the Most of Your Child’s Insurance

Children’s teeth change very quickly. Unfortunately, baby teeth are also more susceptible to cavities than their adult counterparts. Regular checkups can help break the cycle of decay so that it doesn’t impact your child for the rest of their life.

Occasionally, children get cavities. When they visit our Vista children’s dentist on a routine basis, we can spot those issues while they’re as small as possible. Modest treatments like fillings tend to cost less and are covered at a higher percentage by your insurance policy. But if the infection goes untreated and evolves into more complicated treatment, your insurance plan coverage might also drop to a lower level. You can see that insurance companies basically incentivize parents to help their children keep their smiles healthy through early preventative care.

Once you’ve met your insurance deductible, most plans have a set dollar amount that they’ll pay up to each year. This can usually range from $1,000-$1,500 per patient. For a young child, that’s enough to help cover a filling here or there or even a crown. But if you don’t use your benefits and they run out, you’ve lost access to your coverage and have to re-pay your deductible again after the New Year begins.

When children require more complex treatment, it can work to your family’s advantage to schedule some leading up to the end of the year, allowing benefits to reset, then scheduling the remaining procedures in January. Essentially allowing you to double-dip into two years of coverage in a one or two-month period of time.

“Should I Use or Lose My Dental Benefits?”

“Do I need to use the benefits by the end of the year,” you ask? Yes! Whatever you don’t use before December 31st will expire. It doesn’t roll over into the next year and can’t be added to the new year’s benefits package. Whatever isn’t used is lost for good.

If your child has existing dental issues, they will only continue to worsen over time. It’s financially—and physically—better to treat the problems now, while they’re smaller, as opposed to waiting until they get any worse. The difference could mean avoiding painful toothaches for your child, while also minimizing the impact on your wallet.

When Should I Schedule an Appointment to Use My Remaining Benefits?

Today. All Smiles Children’s Dentistry in Vista is currently booking dental exams and cleanings for children through the end of 2021. But hurry to reserve a spot, as remaining appointments (especially over the holidays) will go quickly. The sooner your child can get in for their regular checkup or filling, the better it will be for your family as a whole.

Contact our Vista children’s dentist to reserve an appointment.

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