There are many types of medical and dental health insurance plans that patients might seek. This information will be discussed in multiple sections.
ANNUAL MAXIMUM – LIFETIME MAXIMUM with a Dental Health Insurance Plan
Nearly all dental health insurance plans have an annual maximum benefit in contrast to medical insurance plans which do not. In addition some dental insurance plans may have a separate lifetime maximum specifically for orthodontics (braces). When an insured procedure is covered under a lifetime maximum it is not counted towards an annual maximum.
Dental health insurance plans have a low annual maximum (proportional to the potential cost of dentistry) that really haven’t increased in the nearly 25 years I have practiced dentistry. Regardless, a higher premium dental insurance policy will provide a higher annual maximum.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) – Medical Health Dental Savings Accounts (DSAs)
These accounts allow patients to allocate future medical and dental expenses from their pre-tax income in the calendar year – usually December – before it is needed. In other words, the employee will allocate $2,500 in FSAs in December 2007 knowing that they will need to use it in 2008. Patients cannot allocate and use the money in the same calendar year. In addition, whatever money is not spent during the calendar year remains with the employer plan and is lost by the patient.
A significant benefit of flexible spending accounts and dental savings accounts is that they give patients complete control over their dentistry and it can be used for most costs that are not covered by a dental insurance plan. There is typically an annual maximum for these kinds of accounts of around $5,000. When added to a high end Fee For Service dental insurance plan of $2,500 per year, a patient can get a significant total of $7,500 per year in benefits.
–Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, Director
The Center for Special Dentistry
The Center For Special Dentistry is NOT a member of any dental insurance plan network.