PLANTATION, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In 2018, eight out of 10 U.S. taxpayers will receive a tax refund of about $3,000. And many will spend a good portion of their refund at the dentist’s office.
Out-of-pocket healthcare spending increases by 60-percent in the week following receipt of tax refunds, according to a recent study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute. Payments to dentists made up a disproportionate share of that spending, primarily from patients receiving dental treatments as opposed to paying bills for care that had previously been performed.
“It’s obvious that people are putting off getting the dental care that they need due to cost,” said Bill Chase, senior vice president of marketing for DentalPlans.com. “As a nation, we need to recognize that affordable dental care is not an optional luxury. Dental problems have been connected to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and respiratory infections, and also makes other medical issues such as diabetes harder to manage. Delaying dental care is a serious public health problem and not something to be ignored.”
Since dental care is critical to overall health and well-being, it is important to get the most for that tax refund money. Some of the best recommended strategies include:
1: Joining a Dental Savings Plan to reduce the cost of dental care by 10%-60%. Those who have maxed out their dental insurance or who do not have dental insurance can save significantly on out-of-pocket costs by using dental insurance supplements, like a dental savings plan. Most dental savings plans activate within 72 hours of purchase (or sooner) and can be used to reduce the cost of most dental treatments as soon as the plan activates.
2: Funding a Health Savings Account (HSA). The IRS allows (IRS Publication 502) HSA payments for “the amounts you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants, and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatment to alleviate dental disease include services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments."
3: Getting a dental treatment plan: People should never hesitate to discuss finances with their dentists, which would include asking the dentist how to best use a tax refund to address dental issues. The dentist can then devise a treatment plan, depending on one’s budget or the return they received, that prioritizes procedures that will have the most impact on a person’s dental health.
4: Committing to regular dental care: If there are no immediate treatment needs, booking an appointment for a checkup and cleaning–and making it a regular practice going forward–will result in savings over time. Every dollar spent on preventive oral care can result in up to $40 in savings on future dental costs, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.
5: Getting a smile makeover: When aesthetics are the issue, investing a tax refund in cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, overlays/onlays or orthodontics can result in increased confidence and a healthier smile. Cosmetic treatments are typically not covered by dental insurance (orthodontics for medical reasons and for those under 18 are the exception) and cannot be claimed as a tax deduction. However, dental savings plans, mentioned earlier, typically do include discounts on cosmetic care.
Dental care is a smart investment that guarantees healthy returns over a lifetime. A dental savings plan helps stretch that refund much further, making it an even smarter choice.
To find out more about the advantages of dental savings plans, visit dentalplans.com
DentalPlans.com, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings online marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives. www.dentalplans.com.