Various health insurances have become part and parcel of the average American’s life. Compared to the traditional types of insurance, dental insurance is a relatively new offer on the US health care services market, but it seems to be gaining more and more popularity each year.
People are beginning to realize the importance of having dental health expense coverage and are choosing to include dental insurance, as they now understand that by paying this moderate amount of money today that they will protect themselves against enormous financial expenses in the future.
What Dental Services Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Before getting any dental insurance, familiarize yourself with the plans offered to find out what services are covered and how. Some plans cover your dental care procedures, only when you choose the least money-consuming treatment alternative. For example, if you want to get a composite material dental filling instead of the amalgam one, you will, probably, have to pay for that from your own pocket.
Dental insurance normally offsets simple dental procedures, such as a decayed tooth filling, root canal surgeries, dental bridgework, crown filling, and teeth cleaning. It also covers some of the diagnostic procedures, such as x-rays, and routine check-ups every six months. Some orthodontic braces and adjustments are also reimbursed by some of the insurance companies.
But, there is a long list of dental services which are usually excluded from the dental insurance plan. For example, most dental plans do not provide coverage for composite or tooth-colored fillings as it usually only provides for amalgam (silver) fillings. The policyholder will have to pay the difference if they opt for composite fillings.
Dental insurance also does not usually cover cosmetic procedures like tooth-whitening treatments. Other treatments which may not be covered are dental implants, dentures, dental care for a medical condition, and orthodontic treatments or braces.
Many insurance companies will not pay back for the treatment of pre-existing conditions and cosmetic dental procedures. Be aware that some plans have waiting period limits, at the end of which your expenditures will not be provided for. Moreover, as different dental insurance policies provide varied coverage, it is better if policyholders first check and know their policy limits so that they will know what to expect while undergoing different dental procedures.
Why is Dental Insurance Beneficial for Me?
The treatment of dental diseases is generally money-consuming, and they usually start unexpectedly, burning a hole in your pocket. And the significant cost of dentist’s services is totally justified, taking into account the expensive materials and equipment associated with dental care. Also, consider the amount of time and money spent on a skilled professional’s education and training.
But this will hardly comfort you when you hold a dental care bill in your hands. You need to be aware that emergency dental treatment is especially expensive. Therefore, it is in your best interests to get some kind of coverage, such as oral health insurance or a dental plan.
The first and foremost advantage of dental insurance is that you do not need to be worried about paying for expensive dental care procedures from your own pocket, as long as the majority of them are already covered. Your dental insurance also offsets routine dental check-ups twice a year, as well as the basic treatment. This not only helps to uncover and eliminate any dental problems at an early stage, but also saves your money, as dental insurance rarely covers dental treatment to the full extent for on advanced stage procedures and treatment.
What are the Types of Dental Insurance?
Like any other health insurance, dental insurance is available in a wide range of healthcare plans. They might be group, family, or individual, covering basic, or major dental care needs. The below-listed types of dental insurance are the most popular ones available.
The most popular and affordable dental insurance plan is an indemnity plan. It allows you to choose your own dentist. An indemnity plan is considered to be good value for money, but it does have some limitations, such as an annual limit on dental spending coverage, and specific offset limits, which might be applied to some individual dental procedures.
A self-insurance dental plan is similar to an indemnity plan, but you cannot choose your own dentist.
A closed-panel dental plan limits you in terms of using a specific group of medical care centers and the number of healthcare professionals available to you.
If you choose a capitation dental plan, your dentist will get a fee paid by your insurance company regardless of whether a dental treatment was actually required. This type of dental insurance plan has time limits.
A preferred provider organization (PPO) limits your choice to a number of dentists who are available to you. They usually provide their services at a reduced cost.
A direct reimbursement dental plan is usually used by employers to insure their employees’ health.
Within the framework of a dental care service plan, you can receive services provided by dentists who are members of a special non-profit organization. They provide their services at set low fees.
What Kind of Dental Insurance is Suitable for Me?
Take your time to choose the best option for yourself. As long as this process is very individual, it is rather difficult to give any specific recommendations. But here is a short, general outline. Choose a simple dental plan, if you have good dental health, and all you need is coverage for routine check-ups, teeth cleaning, and occasional teeth filling.
However, if you are prone to dental problems and/or plan to get major dental care treatment in the near future, you would be better off choosing a dental insurance plan which fully covers a more significant percentage of dental treatment expenditures.
Tips for Buying Dental Insurance
There are some tips that prove helpful while buying dental insurance. The first thing you need to do is ensure your family dentist accepts the plan you intend to buy. If your dentist won’t accept your plan, find out what is accepted and then use the help of websites to look for a plan that will let you continue seeing your regular dentist. Of course, if you plan to change dentists, then you may as well choose your plan and then look for a dentist who will accept that plan.
Make sure you read the fine print of the dental insurance policy. You need to understand what is and what isn’t covered, what you are responsible for paying for out of your pocket, and also find out what your deductible will be. You can save a considerable amount of money if you buy the coverage you need. There are stand-alone polices available which you can customize to suit your budget and needs.
Lastly, don’t stall about buying a dental insurance plan as most plans have a ‘waiting period’ of a few months for its coverage to apply. So the quicker you choose and buy your policy, the quicker you can reap its benefits.
Dental insurance can really reduce your dental care expenditures, no matter whether you are going to have extensive treatment or just routine check-ups. The only thing you need to do in order to benefit from it, is to choose the dental plan which meets your needs.