Dental care is a necessity, but traditional insurance plans do not include dental insurance options. However, with over 90% of people over the age of 20 having at least one cavity, it’s crucial to consider the right type of dental insurance to cover the expense of major dental work.
If you’re trying to pick an insurance policy, consider the following tips to help you get started.
Tips for Picking a Dental Insurance Provider
1. Learn About Coverage Structure
Dental insurance is different from health insurance. Your health insurance provider likely starts paying for 100% of your medical bills after you meet a certain deductible threshold. Dental options are slightly different because they often have a 100/80/50 structure.
The structure is broken down into:
- 100% of preventative care
- 80% of fillings, extractions, root canals and similar
- 50% for major procedures, such as implants, bridges and crowns
If you need to see a cosmetic dentist, this isn’t covered under a normal plan.
2. Research In-network Dentists in Your Area
Since you must go to in-network dentists, it’s crucial to know the options that you have around you. Often, you’ll find a single dentist in the area with some cheaper plans, and if you don’t like the dentist, you have to pay out of pocket for another one.
Before signing up for any policy, always see the in-network options in your area.
It’s always better to find an insurance provider that has many in-network dentists in the area so that you have greater freedom when choosing one. Otherwise, you may have to travel further to go to the dentist, and if you have any serious work done, this isn’t ideal.
3. Ask Your Employer First
You can go and find your own dental insurance, but your employer may have options available. Group insurance policies keep costs down, and if your employer does have this option for you, compare it to what you can get on your own.
Also, you may be able to seek group insurance policies through the following:
- Seniors may find options through AARP
- Medicaid may have plans
- Affordable Care Act marketplace may have opportunities
Again, you can also go and sign up for your own plan at any time.
4. Consider the Wait Time
Many people assume that once they pay their first premium, they can finally go and get the dental implants or major work they’ve been putting off. But, unfortunately, insurers will often only offer coverage for preventative and basic care during the first six to 12 months.
If your premiums over this time exceed the cost of the procedures you need, it may be better to get these procedures before securing your policy.
Finally, you’ll want to be cautious of what your policy covers because cheaper policies will offer less coverage. Consider the dental work you need now and in the future before deciding which policy to choose.
If you’re not sure which dental insurance provider is the right choice for you, work with a broker who can help you find a policy that fits perfectly into your budget.