Premiums, deductibles, annual caps, waiting periods, PPOs and HMOs, co-pays – yes, choosing dental insurance can be complicated. You want coverage that doesn’t take a huge chunk out of your monthly budget and provides affordable preventive and restorative dental coverage when you need it. Here’s how to find your plan.
Dental insurance plans are intended to reduce the cost of dental care. 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.
Simple, right? Yes, but you also have to factor in waiting periods, copays, annual maximums, and your oral health needs.
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. Look for the “missing tooth” clause (yes, that’s what its typically called) when you are reviewing plan details.
Most dental insurance plans do not cover elective procedures such as teeth whitening or porcelain overlays.
Typically, no, since there are less-expensive ways of restoring missing teeth. But some plans, like Cigna Premium, do cover dental implants.
Some dental insurance plans do. But check the annual lifetime coverage limit for orthodontics and ask your dentist/orthodontist for a cost estimate. You may be able to save more money on braces with a dental savings plan.
It depends on your dental care needs, and how you pay for dental insurance.
Members of dental savings plans get 10%-60% off dental procedures (the actual savings depend on specific procedure and the plan you choose) at participating dentists. You pay the discounted fee when you get care, directly to your dentist. And, unlike traditional dental insurance, members of dental savings plans don’t have to worry about annual spending limits and can save on restorative procedures as soon as their plan activates.
Dental savings plans, also known as dental discount plans, are a great choice for people who have existing oral health problems, those who need treatments like root canals, crowns or other dental restorative care ASAP, or whose dental care costs exceed $1000 annually.
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!
Can’t wait 6-12 months for dental insurance coverage to kick in for that root canal, crown or bridge? With a dental savings plan, there are no waiting periods, so you get reduced rates at the dentist the minute your plan activates – typically within 72 hours.
Why do dentists offer discounts? Because it’s good for their business, and it’s good for the communities they serve. With most dental savings plans you gain access to a nationwide network of dentists who warmly 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.
To learn more about dental insurance – and alternative options designed to make dental care more affordable – please contact our team today!