Premiums, deductibles, co-pays, waiting periods, PPOs and HMOs – choosing a dental insurance plan is complicated. Read on for help deciphering dental insurance jargon, and the details on what dental insurance does and doesn’t cover.
Dental insurance options driving you crazy? Take a deep breath – picking the right plan doesn’t have to be hard. With the information below you can cut right through the confusion and find a plan that fits your needs.
Dental insurance plans are intended to reduce the cost of dental care. Dental insurance providers typically negotiate lower fees with in-network dentists, and also pay (“cover”) a percentage of the reduced fee. You pay the rest out of pocket. Here’s how the savings break down:
Preventive: Dental insurance plans typically covers 100% of the cost of preventive care, which includes annual checkups, bitewing x-rays, and routine cleanings.
Basic: Most insurance plans cover 80% of the cost of “basic,” uncomplicated services, such as fillings, simple extractions and some types of deep cleanings.
Major: Dental insurance typically covers 50% of treatments such as root canals, crowns, bridges and dentures – dental insurance typically covers 50%.
Simple, right? Well, unfortunately, you also have to factor in waiting periods, copays, annual maximums, and the type of dental insurance plan you want.
You can’t afford to delay critical dental care, but how can you pay that big bill? With a dental savings plan that activates within 24-hours, you can afford to get the care you need – fast!
Why wait 6-12 months for dental insurance coverage to kick in for that root canal, crown or bridge? With a dental savings plan, you get reduced rates at the dentist the minute your plan activates.
Why do dentists offer discounts? Because it’s good for their business, and it’s good for the communities they serve. Depending on the particular dental savings plan you choose, you gain access to a nationwide or local network of dentists who welcome plan members.
Dental discounts don’t mean that the quality of care is reduced. Many dental savings plans pre-screen dentists prior to accepting them into the plan’s network.
Dental insurance plans may not cover the costs for some treatments, no matter how long you wait – such as replacing a tooth that you lost prior to purchasing the policy or dental work that is already in progress.
Most dental insurance plans do not cover “elective” procedures such as teeth whitening or overlays, they cover treatments that you need for dental health, not aesthetic reasons.
Typically, no. Dental implants are considered a cosmetic treatment, since there are less-expensive ways of restoring missing teeth.
Some plans do. But with an annual DPPO maximum coverage limit of $1,500, and braces costing $4,500-$7,000+, you’ll pay most of the cost of orthodontic treatment out-of-pocket.
It depends on your dental care needs, and how you pay for dental insurance.
To learn more about dental insurance – and alternative options designed to make dental care more affordable – please visit the Dental Information Center.