The cost of dental care can be very expensive, which is why you need to buy dental health insurance. Dental health insurance policies will shoulder a certain share of the costs of dental services, making them more affordable by reducing the amount you will have to pay out-of-pocket. Most dental plans also provide 100% coverage of preventive and diagnostic services such as prophylactic cleaning, fluoride treatments and dental X-rays, allowing you to avail of them for free. However, there are a lot of dental insurance providers in the market offering a wide variety of products. Which one should you choose?
Before starting to choose between dental insurance providers, first decide what type of dental coverage insurance you need. The most common types of dental insurance are Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. In an HMO plan, you will be asked to select a dentist belonging to the HMO’s network of providers, who will provide you with primary dental care and refer you to a specialist if you need specialized care. A PPO plan allows you to visit any dentist you want but offers you more affordable services if you use a provider who’s a member of the PPO network, since they will offer you discounted fees for their services. Under both plans, you can save a substantial amount in out-of-pocket fees; preventive and diagnostic services such as office check-ups and cleanings are also usually covered 100 percent.
A less common type of dental plan that is usually offered by state dental insurance providers is indemnity insurance, under which you can get dental care from any dentist you want and the insurance provider will shoulder between half up to 80% of the cost of services. But if you don’t need substantial dental care, you can avail of a discount plan, which is not insurance, but offers you large discounts off the regular prices of dental services.
When selecting plans provided by dental insurance providers, make sure to check out what services are covered and what the limitations of the plan are. For example, how much is the deductible? How long is the waiting period before your insurance company starts coverage for particular procedures? What is the annual maximum, so you’ll know how much dental coverage you’ll have before you have to start paying out-of-pocket? Try to find a balance between the amount of monthly premiums you’ll need to pay and the amount of coverage you’ll get. And don’t forget to comparison shop by asking for quotes from at least three providers.
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