This Year's Resolution: Plan to Use Your Dental & Vision Insurance
For most, benefit selection periods are over and you vaguely remember the presentation reviewing any new changes in your employer’s plan, or you try to find the web pages you browsed for an individual plan. When your insurance cards come in the mail and the new year begins, it's easy to forget those little changes to your dental and vision insurance plans.
Keeping your dental and vision insurance in order might sound like a chore, but getting a head start on your benefit game plan for the year could ease a few headaches down the road.
Plan how you can use your insurance now for a stress-free year.
- Make a checklist.
Start with the basics — make a list of preventive services you know you will need.
You should visit the dentist 2 times a year for a cleaning and checkup, according to the American Dental Association. Schedule appointments ahead with your dental office, and if you know you'll need additional dental work like fillings or crowns, pencil those in, too. With little to no cost for these services, there is no excuse not to get your preventive dental visits in 2021.
You should visit the eye doctor once a year. Regular dilated eye exams with a vision doctor can not only help detect problems with your vision but can also help detect problems with your overall health. Schedule your appointment ahead of time with your vision clinic.
- Study your coverage.
Once you know what procedures you need, take a minute to look over your plan.
Familiarize yourself with dental insurance basics. What's your deductible? What about your annual maximum? Most plans cover a percentage of procedures up to a specific dollar amount. Click here to log into your account or review your benefit contract so you know what's covered.
For your vision plan, make sure you understand your coverage. In addition to an eye exam, you may have an allowance for frames and lenses. Some plans only cover frames every other year, so check to make sure you understand what is covered. If you know you’ll need new glasses, you can determine what amount will be covered so you can plan to pay the remaining amount. Most plans will provide annual coverage for lenses. You can then use this coverage for either glasses or contacts, so make sure you know which category you fall into and plan accordingly for what will help you save the most on your vision materials.
- Construct a timeline.
After consulting your dentist, work with your dental team to develop your bi-annual dental schedule. If you are unsure if a procedure or treatment will be covered, your dentist can always submit a claim for an estimation of benefit coverage.
Work with your vision provider to make an appointment for your vision exam. Plan ahead for any vision related costs, including new contacts or glasses.
- Write it down.
A lot can happen in a year! Keep track of any insurance use throughout the year. This will keep your mind fresh when selecting the best plan for you come next open enrollment.
Here's to a happy, healthy new year!
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*Updated December 2020