Insurance is a necessity these days, but it sure can be confusing at times. Even if you call and speak to a representative at your insurance company, you can walk away still not being sure if a treatment is covered or not.
Your dental health is too important to risk with waiting. Call our Racine, WI dental office today at 262-417-7326 to schedule your next appointment. Our Racine dentists accept most major dental insurance plans to help keep your costs lower. But you need to know that dental insurance isn’t always like medical insurance.
Dental Does Not Always Mean Health
Why are dental insurance and health insurance separate things? Because a long time ago, people treated dentistry like a craft, not a healing service. Dentists were looked at like woodworkers or skilled craftsmen. They could repair teeth, but that didn’t mean they helped with your health or wellness. (That’s the same reason chiropractors weren’t considered medical professionals for so long.)
These days, people know better. Your health is mixed in with your teeth and gums, and affecting one can easily impact the other. In fact, improving your dental health can even improve your mental health by boosting your confidence and self-esteem.
How Dental Insurance Is Similar
Despite being separate, dental insurance has many things in common with health insurance. Here are a few that can help you use your insurance benefits efficiently.
– They usually have deductibles and coinsurance rates
A deductible is what you have to pay each year before your insurance pays for things. However, every plan approaches that differently. For example, many include twice-yearly dental visits for free even if you haven’t met your deductible.
Coinsurance is a percentage of the cost you pay even when insurance is active. Again, some things can be exempt. But if your plan has 80/20 coinsurance, you can expect to pay 20% of any covered dental treatment.
– Dentists and doctors are called “providers”
Don’t let the insurance jargon confuse you. Our Racine dentists might be called “providers” by your plan, but that’s just a fancy name for either a dentist, doctor, or other professional. Just make sure North Bay Dental is on your list of providers. Otherwise, your dental insurance might not work.
– Benefit periods are usually one year long — but that might not be a calendar year
Most dental insurance plans limit how many times you can get certain treatments each year. For example, many will allow you to get dental exams twice each year for free but no more than that. However, make sure you understand that your plan defines as a “year.” Some use calendar years, but in others, your “year” begins the day you started with that plan.
– Some treatments can be limited to only so many each benefit period
Sometimes, an insurance plan called a year as a “benefit period.” No matter the name, they can limit how many dental treatments of a particular kind they will cover each year. Some will say that you can only get gum disease treatment once per year, for example. Make sure you know these limits before making your appointment.
How Dental Insurance Is Different
– Dental insurance is more about regular, preventive care
Many times, medical insurance is for accidents and illnesses. While dental insurance helps with those as well, it’s more about getting preventive care to help avoid those bigger problems. That’s why most plans offer free dental exams, digital X-rays, dental cleanings, and more.
– Preventive dental care is often free of charge
In fact, prevention is such a big part of dental insurance that many plans offer such care for free. That’s because they know if they pay a little more in the short-run, they can avoid expensive dental treatments in the long-run. Check with your plan to see what is covered 100%, then make appointments for those treatments so you can maximize your dental insurance benefits.