Need to invest in dental insurance? Remember, not all plans are created equally, so it’s best to do your homework before you agree to a policy. Some differences between plans can be easy to spot, but others are more subtle and can be easily missed. As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details but don’t worry, we’re here to help. If you want to know how to buy dental insurance, consider these six details when looking up plans.
1. Who Needs Coverage?
When purchasing dental insurance, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is who will need coverage.
Is it just for you? Or will your other half and dependant children (26 years old or younger) require coverage too?
If you already have a medical insurance plan, dental may also be included. But you may also want to buy separate private dental insurance if your current plan isn’t sufficient enough or if your medical insurance doesn’t involve dental coverage.
It’s important to know that under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dental insurance plans aren’t required to cover your dependent children up to the age of 26 as medical plans do.
2. Do You Have Pre-Existing Conditions?
Do you have any pre-existing dental issues? If you do, you must be aware that some dental insurance plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
Pre-existing conditions often include big dental issues including deep fillings that require crowns.
Some carriers will consider replacing a lost tooth under this category if you lost or removed it before you signed up under your plan. Be sure to clarify if you’re unsure of anything.
Your dental insurance plan may also not cover the replacement of crowns, bridges, and dentures.
When browsing for insurance plans, pinpoint exactly what each brand considers a pre-existing dental condition and work out whether you can afford the out-of-pocket expenses to cover these issues. If not, it may be wise to keep searching for a plan that will cover these conditions.
3. What Does the Policy Cover?
When buying dental insurance, you should also carefully review the policies you may be signing up for to budget your expenses. This includes both expected and potential emergency costs.
If you or your children require important dental work, understand that you’ll likely have to pay a huge percentage of the cost. With both group and individual plans, know that benefits are limited and vary from scheme to scheme. Almost all policies pay just a small number of costs for major work, so always run over the details if you know you have a big job coming up.
Remember, your co-workers, friends, or family may be insured by the same dental insurance brand as you but may have a different package from the one you’re presented.
4. Are There Any Limitations?
This leads us to our next point, that most dental plans have plenty of limitations. For example, this may be the number of times you can have your teeth cleaned each year.
These limitations are often decided on frequency intervals, so how often you can receive a certain treatment and/or how much time passes before you can receive the treatment again.
For example, a plan may offer dental cleanings twice a year, but the treatment must be at least six months apart. Or, a plan may provide dental cleanings twice a year and the two treatments can be taken any time within that year.
Some common dental procedures with limitations including teeth cleanings, check-ups, fillings, crowns, X-rays, and more.
5. How Much Do You Want to Pay Out of Pocket?
A big determination in selecting the right dental insurance policy for you depends on how much you’re willing to pay out of pocket. This includes features like monthly premiums, deductibles, and any services which are outside your scheme’s coverage.
There are three different types of private dental insurance policies, each with varying out of pocket expenses and coverage choices.
These are the Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO), Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO), and Dental Indemnity Insurance.
6. Are You Prepared for the Waiting Period?
Finally, when you buy dental insurance, you’ll need to consider whether you’re ready to sit out the waiting period. If you have a dental emergency, don’t wait around to choose your policy.
Many dental plans often have a waiting period of around three to six months before you can undergo treatment for major dental issues such as fillings or root canals.
However, if you haven’t got a major dental condition that needs tending to, most private dental insurance policies will cover smaller treatments and preventative care routines such as cleanings and X-rays immediately.
Discover what’s excluded during your dental policy’s waiting period and plan so you can reap the best benefits for you.
Now You Know How to Buy Dental Insurance
With our tips, we hope that now you know how to buy dental insurance with confidence.
The perks of buying dental insurance plans are that coverage is great for preventive care. This includes check-ups, cleanings, and dental x-rays. Buying dental insurance may encourage you to receive more preventative care which helps you avoid more pricey and uncomfortable procedures in the long term.
Whether you’re choosing dental insurance for yourself, your family, or your business, we hope you have enough information to help you select the right plan based on your requirements.
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