October 28, 2016
$100 billion is an astronomical number, but the scale becomes even more apparent when you consider what you can buy with it. You could buy a round trip to the moon for you and 149 of your closest friends, or over 130 Airbus A380s (the largest passenger airplane the world). You could even buy the Chicago Cubs…100 times over. $100 billion is a tremendous amount of money, and it’s amazing that amount is lost each year by Americans with dental insurance.
How You Lose Money Each Year
About 150 million Americans have dental insurance. This makes it easier for them to get routine dental care for themselves and their families. Many plans work by covering each person up to a certain dollar amount every year, typically around $1000 per person. This is usually enough to afford two standard check-ups and cleanings, as well as other procedures that might be needed. Like most insurances, these benefits reset at the beginning of each year. This means you lose any benefits not used before December 31st. Of this $1000 worth of coverage, on average people only use about $250 of it. When this loss is multiplied across all of the people with dental insurance, it leads to the mountainous $100 billion. That is $100 billion worth of care paid for but not received by millions of people each year.
How It Impacts You
Dental insurance is primarily aimed at helping people get preventive dental care. This can save them from the discomfort of more expensive restorative procedures. People who do not use all of their dental benefits are usually behind on these regular check-ups and cleanings. These cleanings allow your dentist to address areas that you cannot reach with regular brushing and flossing (such as the surfaces on the back teeth). Regular check-ups are also very important because they help with the early detection of any dental issues. A cavity caught early might require a simple filling, while one that has been neglected may need a root canal and a crown. This all can work out to be more expensive and painful for you. Dental insurance benefits are specifically made to prevent this from happening, but they can’t do anything if unused.
What You Can Do
Are you unsure of your exact dental benefits? Call an expert and so you can figure out how much coverage you are allotted each year, as well as which procedures are included. If you’ve only seen your dentist once this year, another visit will be covered by your insurance. You pay for your benefits each year, so get the most out of them and keep your teeth healthy.
Dr. Alex Martin, DDS currently runs his own practice in Scottsdale, AZ. He studied at the Creighton University in Omaha, NE and is a member of the American Dental Association and the Central Arizona Dental Association. If you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits, he is the man to ask. Please feel free to call at (480) 351-4821 to make an appointment today.
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