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Dental Insurance Guide: What to Look For and Consider

Ready to purchase dental insurance? Great! This is a really smart step to take, as oral care can be expensive.

The right insurance will help cover the costs so you never have to miss an appointment for a checkup, cleaning, or treatment that will keep your smile bright and beautiful. As you begin shopping for dental insurance, though, you might quickly become overwhelmed. How can you sort through all of your options to find the one that will suit your needs, as well as your budget?

We’re here to help with this handy dental insurance guide. Below, we cover the basic things that you should look for in a plan, as well as factors to consider to help you land on the ideal policy for yourself and your family.

Details You Should Look for:

•  Out-of-pocket costs
In addition to your monthly premium, find out what other out-of-pocket costs you’ll be responsible for. These might include a deductible,co-insurance, and copay. 

• Annual maximum
A dental insurance plan will only cover up to a certain amount per year, so be sure to check what the annual max is. If you think you need more coverage for various treatments, you’ll want the annual maximum to be higher. Once that maximum number is reached, you’ll have to cover the rest on your own. 

• Waiting period
Is there a waiting period before the insurance kicks in? If a plan doesn’t have a waiting period, it means you can begin using it right away. 

• The network
If you want to be able to continue using your current dentist, you’ll want to ensure you can do so. Some dental plans, such as HMO and PPO options, have networks of providers that you must adhere to. Others, such as indemnity plans, will allow you to choose any dentist you want. 

Ask Yourself: What’s Covered by Various Dental Plans in Your Area?

Not all dental plans will cover the same types of services, and some will be more comprehensive than others.   

As you look through the various dental insurance providers that are available in your area, check if their plans cover a wide range of services, such as the following:

  • Preventive and routine care like exams, cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments
  • Diagnostics like X-Rays
  • Treatments for the gums, such as root planing
  • Fillings, root canals, extractions
  • Crowns, dentures, bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Orthodontics
  • Emergency services
  • Oral surgery
  • Cosmetic procedures like whitening treatments or veneers

Note: These services might not be covered 100%. If that’s the case, consider your out-of-pocket costs if you were to seek out these treatments.

Other Things to Consider Before Choosing a Plan

By now it’s clear that when you’re shopping for dental insurance, you have to look at a lot more than just the monthly premium that you’ll be required to pay. But there’s more. Here are some other things to keep in mind as well:

• Will the plan cover everything you need for yourself, as well as your spouse and kids if they also need coverage?

• What level of customer service does the insurance company provide? Is it easy to get in touch with them when you have questions or concerns?

• Does the policy limit you to the cheapest treatment options available? In other words, if you opt for more expensive treatments, will you still be covered or will you have to pay for those out-of-pocket?

Want an Easier Way to Shop? Check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace!

Head to the Direct Benefits Marketplace to view the dental plans that are available in your area. You can compare different policies side-by-side to clearly see what they have to offer, and you can get a better picture of what your out-of-pocket costs will be based on the level of coverage that’s provided by each insurer. 

Once you start looking at what options are available, you might be surprised by how many choices you have, and how affordable they are. And with the information above, you can take additional steps to rest assured you’ll select the plan that’s just right.   

 

Sources:

https://www.dentalplans.com/dental-information/dental-insurance/how-to-choose-dental-insurance

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-insurance#1

https://www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Guide_to_Dental_Insurance.pdf

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/120914/4-important-steps-choosing-dental-insurance.asp

http://www.insuranceqna.com/dental-insurance/choosing-a-dental-plan.html