Dental insurance plans are intended to reduce the cost of dental care. Dental care providers typically negotiate lower fees with in-network dentists and also cover a percentage of the reduced fees. It typically covers 100% of the cost of preventive care, which includes annual checkups, x-rays, and routine cleanings, etc. Here are some key steps to take when buying dental insurance:-
(i) Find Out If You Can Get Group Coverage:-
The great majority of people with dental insurance have benefits through their employer or other group coverage programs such as AARP, the Affordable Care Act marketplace health insurance policies or public programs such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and TriCare for the military. These plans are generally less expensive than purchasing individual insurance and may also have better benefits.
(ii) Check Into Individual Policies:-
More expensive than group policies – and often with more limited benefits – individual policies (whether you’re buying one just for yourself or for your family) often have waiting periods for major procedures. If you’re thinking of signing up for a plan “just in time” because you need implants or a new dentist, realize that insurers are well aware of that tactic of a waiting period of a year before you can start using certain benefits. It’s best to get price quotes and policy details from insurance-company websites or talk to a knowledgeable insurance agent.
(iii) Examine the list of Dentists in the Network:-
Indemnity insurance plans allow you to use the dentist of your choice, but the common PPO and HMO plans limit you to dentists in their networks. If you have a dentist you like, ask which insurance and discount plan he or she accepts. If you’re OK with using a new dentist, a PPO or HMO might fit your needs. But take care that a new dentist you visit says you need a great deal of unexpected work or not. Ask health professionals, neighbors and friends if they can recommend a local dentist they’ve found to be good. Then check what insurance and discount plan those practitioners accept.
(iv) Know What the Policy Covers:-
In order to budget for dental expenses, it’s important to carefully review the policies you’re considering. If you or your child need major dental work, know that you’ll likely have to pay a fixed share of the cost. With both group and individual policies, remember benefits are limited and can vary significantly. Group plans may also have waiting periods, and almost all plans pay only a fraction of costs for major work, so check the details. Your coworkers or friends may be insured by the same company but have a different benefit package from the one you are offered.
The Bottom Line:-
The bright spot of dental insurance is that coverage is good for preventive care, such as check-ups, cleanings and dental x-rays (though x-rays may be covered less frequently than eager dentists want to take them). Adults and children with dental benefits are more likely to go to the dentist, receive restorative care and experience greater overall health, according to a report by the National Association of Dental Plans.