Dental insurance is becoming increasingly important as the costs for many dental procedures continue to increase. An increasing number of employers are providing dental insurance benefits to their employees. At the same time, more people than ever before are visiting their dentist for routine care. Most of these patients are obtaining dental insurance to offset the rising cost of regular dental check-ups. However, for some people dental insurance is an additional cost which they are simply unable to handle. In this situation they will either have to find extra money for dental insurance or for low cost plans that will provide a reasonable alternative.
Some of the most important factors to consider when trying to decide which of the many available dental insurance plans is right for you are the premiums, deductibles, the annual benefit maximums, as well as the network of dentists. The first three considerations will affect whether or not you will be able to afford the plans. Keep in mind that the plans vary widely in price and coverage. For the most part, most dental insurance plans pay all necessary preventative services such as fillings and X-Rays at 100% per treatment, but some plans may only cover certain services. Also, coverage for routine services such as root canals, fillings, and tooth extractions usually is not included, but is available for those with certain pre-existing conditions.
One way to make sure that you get the dental insurance plan that is right for you is to shop around. Compare the prices and the coverage of various dental discount plans. It is best to choose dentists within a certain range of each other, so that you can get the lowest dental discount plan possible. Some examples of dental discount plans include Aetna, Advantage Dental Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, CIGNA, Humana Dental, Kaiser Permanente, and United Healthcare of Texas.
There are two basic types of dental insurance plans, fee-for-service and coverage through an employer’s plan. Fee-for-service plans normally provide coverage for preventive dental care and basic procedures like cleanings. Most of these plans require you to purchase a policy from your employer, which could be more expensive than buying a separate policy.
If you do not own a dental insurance plan, or cannot afford coverage, a good alternative would be group health insurance. Group health insurance works much like a typical individual health insurance plan, with a large group of people sharing the costs. These plans usually have low monthly premiums but offer a much larger number of doctors, dentists, and hospitals compared to fee-for-service dental insurance plans. Some examples of group health plans include: Ameriplan, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Humana Dental, Assurant Health, and Kaiser Permanente.
Although it is not always required, almost all dental insurance policies require some form of preventive care coverage. This preventive care coverage usually covers preventative services like cleanings for teeth and braces. Preventive care services can help to lower your overall dental costs, but in some cases your provider may choose to exclude certain procedures, treatments, or items from coverage. You will need to read carefully over your dental insurance policy to understand what is not covered, or what you can expect to receive in the way of a discount.
Most dental plans also include a waiting period during which you cannot receive any dental services. The waiting period can vary significantly depending on your specific provider. For example, most major dental providers have a 30 day waiting period, while smaller providers may allow you access to treatment as long as you pay an additional fee. Your choice of provider will also have a significant impact on how much you pay for your dental services.
Unlike major medical insurance, or dental insurance plans that offer only one form of coverage, most dental plans will offer more than one type of coverage. You can usually choose from more than one form of coverage if you want more than one type of procedure like teeth whitening. Major dental providers such as Teeth America offer a variety of coverage plans including everything from routine dental procedures like cleaning and teeth whitening to more complex procedures like dental implants and emergency procedures like root canals. For families or individuals with dental needs, dental insurance is a good investment.