If you’re searching for the right dental insurance for you and your family, it can feel like an overwhelming task. There are so many options to choose from! That’s why we’ve compiled some useful information about dental insurance policies to help you choose the right coverage for you.
The first thing to understand about dental insurance is that most policies focus on covering preventive treatments like dental exams and professional cleanings. These routine visits to the dentist are often 100% paid for by most dental insurance plans. But for anything more than that – a filling, for example – many plans will only cover 80% of the cost. And if you require a procedure that is more costly – such as a crown or root canal – some insurance policies will only pay for half of the cost. Depending on the insurance company, you may have to have the policy in place for a certain period of time before the more expensive procedures are covered at all!
Other important considerations when choosing a policy are caps and deductibles. The cap is the total amount of money the policy will pay during the course of a year. This is typically $1,000 to $1,500. If you have dental expenses that exceed the cap, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket. The majority of dental policies include a deductible, which is the amount of money you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company starts to pay any expenses. Deductibles are usually around $50 for an individual or $150 for a family. These are considerably lower than health insurance deductibles, so it’s important to make sure that your dental policy deductibles are separate from your health insurance deductibles if you’re purchasing both types of insurance from the same company.
If you anticipate that you or a family member will need orthodontic treatment or dental appliances (such as dentures or partials, for example), make sure the policy you choose offers coverage for those items if you can find one. You should know that most dental insurance doesn’t cover major expenses such as full sets of dentures, or cosmetic procedures such as dental implants or porcelain veneers. If you anticipate major dental expenses, you may want to instead look into dental savings plans.
If you have a favorite dentist, you’ll also want to make certain that your dentist accepts the insurance before you sign up for a policy. You might also ask your dentist if he or she offers some type of payment plan and/or discount plan for patients. Often, these are sufficient in providing the same type of benefits offered by many insurance policies.
According to the American Dental Association, most dental policies will cost about $350 per year for an individual or $550 annually for a family. If you are considering a policy that is much more expensive than that, you want to make sure that they’re offering excellent coverage for the price.