Your Dental Insurance Benefits Will Expire Soon: Use It or Lose It!

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At the Palm Desert Center for Advanced Periodontics, Cosmetic, Sedation and Implant Dentistry, our dedicated team is committed to providing all our patients with the quality care they deserve and your dental health is our No. 1 priority.

For your information, the insurance coverage of the dental implant treatment depends on the individual’s policy. However, it is rare to receive any substantial coverage. There are major limitations to most dental insurance plans, so the plans generally only cover the routine maintenance, emergencies and basic care.

Even though most insurance companies do not cover dental implant treatment, many of them will pay the same benefit they would cover for the lowest-cost alternative treatment option and some of the diagnostic records, if a specific request is made for “alternative benefits.” Even if an individual policy includes implants as a covered benefit, the amount of coverage is still limited to the annual maximum allowable. And it should be said, what one could do 20 years ago with $2,000 in dental treatments (the maximum per year did not increase), is actually much more than what can be done presently.

However, keep in mind that your insurance company may cover the other services that we provide at our office. But while we are more than happy to work with your insurance company, we can’t guarantee coverage by your provider. There are literally hundreds of dental insurance plans, each with different maximums, percentages, and covered procedures. Individual insurance plans often change details every single year.

Patients need to familiarize themselves with the details of their particular plans, closely monitor their benefits, and keep us informed of their current status and any changes, especially if you have changed employers, or if your employer has changed insurance plans. This is so important; often our patients are better at keeping us up to date than the insurance companies are!

Plans that have no limit (such as HMOs) do not provide quality care, and there are a number of procedures that are not covered. For instance, an HMO might cover an amalgam filling, but it won’t cover a composite (white filling). Nor does it cover dental implants and many more helpful treatments.

And it should also be noted that the fees that dentists are getting paid by this type of insurance for procedures is so low that the dentist has to concentrate on the quantity (rather than quality) of the procedure performed. This is obviously not ideal for patients.

Your insurance plan may have deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. It is your responsibility as a patient to be aware of your dental insurance coverage and to provide payment for those out-of-pocket expenses. If you have concerns about whether a service is covered, please contact our office to make sure coverage applies. Although our office cannot provide exact coverage amounts for treatment, we do everything we can to provide reasonable estimates for our patients.

If there are any concerns that you have with your dental insurance coverage, we highly encourage you to bring up your concerns with both the insurance company and your employer. The more people exposing issues with coverage, the more likely it is to be improved. We are constantly expressing our concerns to the insurance companies.

Employers need to know their employees’ concerns because they are the ones purchasing the dental insurance packages for their employees. For the most part, employers can get any kind of coverage they want for their employees. In recent years, however, they are opting for the less costly packages, which means less inclusive dental coverage for employees.

While treatment is never dictated by insurance, if you have any dental concerns, now is the time to come in, before the year is over. Now is the time to make the most of your insurance coverage by using your dental insurance benefits that you have left before they expire at the end of the calendar year, because unused benefits will be lost. At the end of the year, insurance is held to a “use it or lose it” type of paradigm. To help you take advantage of your benefits, we will work with you to schedule your treatment to give your insurance time to process your claim.

When you come into our office for your treatment, you can expect top-notch care from our team of specialists, especially Dr. Anne Nicholas. Dr. Nicholas works extremely hard each day to make sure even the most compromised patients return to a life of pristine oral health. To make this possible, Dr. Nicholas studied periodontics and dental implants at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and completed her residency at the Misch International Implant Institute. To continue to provide the best care possible, she also takes continuing education courses to keep up-to-date with the latest technology and treatment. As you can see, Dr. Anne Nicholas is the right dental professional for you and your smile.

Call Dr. Anne Nicholas and her team of specialists who are serving Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and the surrounding areas of the Coachella Valley at the Palm Desert Center for Advanced Periodontics, Cosmetic, Sedation and Implant Dentistry if you have any questions about your insurance plan and coverage. They can be reached by phone at 760-851-0314 or at their office in Palm Desert, California.