The year is coming to an end, which means your dental insurance for 2019 will be gone too. Understanding how your dental insurance plan works is essential to getting the most out of it. We put this article together to address two very common dental insurance issues patients experience.
We took a moment to chat with Sheri Forshee, the administrator at the Tippit Dental Group Cypress office, about these typical issues.
#1 PREP OR SEAT DATE?
Most patients don’t know what Prep or Seat Date is, but it is a big deal to know the difference and which one your dental insurance pays on. Prep and Seat applies to dentures, nightguards, crowns, or anything where impressions have to be taken and the patient has to return to our dental office.
Prep Date Explained: For prep dates, it’s all about timing. If your insurance pays on the prep date, you only have to come in for the first phase of the procedure (preparing the crown and receiving a temporary crown) before the end of the year. The permanent crown can be seated the following year. We recommend that patients schedule their appointment no less than two weeks before the end of the year. Also consider the days we will be closed for the holidays, so play it safe and schedule your appointment with at least three weeks before the end of the year.
Seat Date Explained: Most insurance companies pay on the seat date, which means they pay their coverage when the permanent crown is “seated” in the patient’s mouth. This entire procedure has to be completed in the year the patient wants the benefits to be used (either in 2019 or 2020) in order for it to be covered. If the crown is not seated by year’s end, the benefits will apply to the new year and you will lose the insurance money from 2019.
#2 MEETING THE DEDUCTIBLE
If you have already met your deductible this year, and still have benefits and treatments to do, it’s best to take care of whatever dental issues you have before the year ends. If your insurance renews on Jan. 1, whatever money is left in your dental benefits goes away after Dec. 31.
There are varying reasons why patients don’t use all of their benefits.
- They might not need any more work done for the year.
- They think they have used up all of their benefits for the year.
If you are in the second category, just call us or your dental insurance company to see how much you have left.
Tippit Dental Group also offers CareCredit, which makes it easier financially to take care of important dental issues. If you have minor or major work that needs to be performed, here is what we offer through CareCredit:
- 6 months 0% interest for expenses up to $2,000
- 12 months 0% interest for expenses over $2,000
MARK THE DATE IN RED!
If you have a dental need that will require lab work, we highly recommend you schedule your appointment with us no later than Dec. 9. This is because lab work typically requires about 12 working days after your initial visit. When it comes to implant crowns, it is typically three weeks. Crown work for multiple teeth could take more time. This Dec. 9 deadline takes into account the days we and our lab will be closed for the holidays.
So make your appointment as soon as you can to ensure you don’t miss out on using your dental benefits. If you have any questions about your dental insurance, please call one of the offices in your area. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.