2020 Dental Insurance — It’s Time To Use It Or Lose It!

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

October 4, 2020 - Your dental insurance is an invaluable resource. It can save you a significant amount of money if you face a sudden oral health problem and need professional care ASAP! However, if you only use your policy when you are in pain, you are actually not getting the greatest possible value out of it. A dentist in Bellevue is here to discuss how you can maximize your 2020 dental insurance benefits.


Remember that Benefits Expire

Most PPO dental insurance plans operate on a calendar-year basis. On January 1, you were given an annual maximum. That maximum represents the greatest dollar amount that your insurance company is willing to pay out for approved services throughout the year. On December 31, any unused portion of that maximum will expire. Very rarely do dental insurance plans have any type of rollover provision.


Most people do not even come close to meeting their annual maximum. Over the course of a few decades, not using your insurance to the full could result in tens of thousands of lost benefits dollars.


Be Strategic with Scheduling

You have just a few months left to use your 2020 benefits. Here are some steps you can take to increase the value you get from your policy:

  • Schedule a cleaning and checkup. Most plans allow you to attend two preventive appointments each year at little to no out of pocket cost. If you haven’t yet had your second (or first!) checkup of 2020, now is the time to get it on the books.

  • Promptly schedule restorative care. If your checkup reveals that you have a cavity, gum disease, or another oral health issue, you might still have time to use 2020’s benefits to pay for any necessary treatment.

  • Ask about splitting major treatments between calendar years. Some major treatments require multiple appointments to complete. If a treatment will exceed your annual maximum, ask your dental team if you can schedule part of it now and part of it in 2021. You’ll thus be able to leverage both this year’s and next year’s dental benefits.


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Navigating the ins and outs of dental insurance can be a little tricky. Fortunately, you are not without help. Your dental team will be happy to guide you as you strive to use your 2020 coverage to the full. Here at Ideal Smiles Bellevue, we are in-network providers with a number of major dental insurance companies, and we welcome patients who have dental benefits from Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, and other major employers in our area. Our expertise can help you save money and eliminate the stress of trying to figure out your insurance on your own. We look forward to assisting you!


About the Author

Drs. Lily Xue Du is the founder of Ideal Smiles Bellevue. As a passionate lifelong learner, she is always honing her skills through continuing education. She believes in delivering top-tier dental care at a reasonable price, and she is always happy to work with her patients’ dental insurance providers to create a seamless and stress-free payment process. To learn more about Dr. Du and our practice, contact us at 425-869-7560.


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