Find an affordable dental insurance plan

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Dental Insurance

Find affordable coverage options for healthy teeth + gums

Your smile says as much about the state of your health as it does about your state of mind. That’s why dental insurance goes hand in hand with medical insurance. Together, they can help you maintain good overall health by making medical and dental care more affordable.

Whether you need benefits for you, you + your partner, or you + your entire family, dental insurance comes in a range of options that meet your oral health needs at a price that suits your budget. You can enroll year-round, and you can cancel anytime if you only need short-term coverage.

It’s easy to get started, too. Simply enter a few basic details (no personally identifiable details required) to receive an instant online quote and compare the affordable dental insurance options available to you. Then choose a plan, apply and buy within minutes.

What is dental insurance coverage?

Like your health insurance plan, a dental insurance plan provides benefits that help pay for dental costs.

And, just as you can shop for an individual health insurance plan if you don’t have job-based benefits, you can find individual dental insurance if you don’t have coverage through an employer.

Dental policies typically include benefits for the following types of care:

  • Preventive (e.g., routine checkups, cleanings, X-rays, sealants)
  • Basic (e.g., fillings, root canals, periodontal treatment)
  • Major (e.g., crowns, bridges, inlays, dentures)

Dental policies usually cover preventive care at 100%—dental insurance is designed with an emphasis on preventive care. Beyond that, you will share with the insurer a percentage of the cost for basic and major procedures. The percentage you pay will vary, but it’s common for basic care to be covered at a higher percentage than major care.

Doesn’t my health plan cover dental care?

Probably not. Though it isn’t unheard of, major medical insurance plans (which are sometimes called ACA or Obamacare plans) don’t often include dental coverage for adults. Less than 3% of Americans with private dental coverage received dental benefits as part of their medical plan in 2016, according to the National Association of Dental Plans.

That means you’ll likely need a separate, stand alone dental plan. If you’re not entirely sure what, if any, dental benefits your ACA plan includes, then contact your ACA plan insurer for details.

Kids dental coverage under the ACA

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dental insurance is an essential health benefit for children 18 or younger. You’re not required to buy dental insurance for your kids. However, if you enroll a child in a major medical plan, dental insurance must be included or offered as a standalone plan in the exchange.

How to find affordable dental insurance plans

With the vast number of individual dental plans available, you’ll likely to find one you consider affordable. You may be able to find a monthly premium under $20 or upwards of $100. What you pay depends on the coverage you select and where you live.

You can quickly and easily find out what plans are available within your budget by getting an online quote.

Where to get dental insurance outside of open enrollment

If you buy dental insurance in the private market, away from the state and federal ACA exchanges, you can get it anytime of year—no need to wait for open enrollment or to qualify for a special enrollment period.

However, the rules are different for dental coverage sold through state and federal health insurance exchanges. You can’t buy dental insurance through these ACA marketplaces unless you enroll in health insurance at the same time, which means you are limited to the annual ACA open enrollment period or a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event.

Will ACA subsidies pay for dental coverage?

Dental insurance plans aren’t eligible for ACA subsidies, even if you enroll in coverage through a government exchange.

Compare your dental insurance options

The best dental plan for you might be different than the best dental plan for someone else. Sure, an affordable premium will make it possible for you to get coverage, but it shouldn’t be your sole consideration when choosing a plan.

Select a few plans within your budget and take a moment to compare them. As you give your options a closer look, pay special attention to the following factors:

  • Benefits — Is preventive care fully covered? At what percentage will the plan cover basic and major care? How about other services and procedures? Dental plans won’t typically cover braces; however, you may be able to add orthodontia and other types of coverage for an additional cost and a waiting period (this is called a rider).
  • Deductible — What is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before certain benefits take effect?
  • Copays — Will you need to pay a flat fee at the time of service?
  • Out-of-pocket maximum — What is the highest dollar amount the plan will pay toward your covered expenses each year? Is it possible your expenses could exceed this cap?
  • Waiting periods — Are certain services subject to a waiting period before your benefits go into effect? (This doesn’t usually apply to preventive care.)
  • Network — Can you visit any dentist that accepts your insurance, or will you be limited to a provider network?
  • Exclusions — Is there anything the policy doesn’t cover? Are there limitations on pre-existing conditions?

Ultimately, the plan you pick will strike a balance between what you consider to be an affordable monthly premium and affordable out-of-pocket costs, your typical dental care needs in a given year, and your personal preferences.

Know the difference between dental insurance + discount plans

Dental products come in different forms. It’s important to keep this in mind as you shop, so you wind up with the coverage you expect.

Within the category of individual dental insurance, you will most commonly see dental PPO plans. They account for 82% of all dental policies.

A dental PPO allows you to choose any dentist that accepts the plan, without network restrictions. However, a PPO plan may contract with a network and offer discounted care when you use participating providers.

If you want to continue seeing your current dentist, then a dental PPO is probably the right choice for you—just make sure your dentist accepts the plan you’re considering. Dental PPOs typically cost more than Dental HMOs that will restrict which providers you can see.

Be aware that there are also dental discount programs—these are not insurance. These programs grant you access to discounts for certain services from participating dentists. You present a card at your appointment, but no claim is processed. The dentist applies the discount and bills you.

With dental insurance, you will pay any copay due at the time of service. Then, your provider submits a claim to your dental insurer for the care you receive. They pay your provider according to your policy, and then the provider bills you for your share.

When you are shopping for dental insurance, make sure that you understand this distinction so that you enroll in correct product and receive the type of benefits you’re expecting.

You want to feel good about your decision. That’s why you should ask questions if you feel stuck or are uncertain about dental plan details. Call 800-821-3054 to speak with a licensed dental insurance agent who can help.

Can you buy short-term dental insurance?

It is possible to enroll in a temporary dental plan when you have short-term coverage needs—you’re in between jobs or in an employer waiting period before job-based benefits take effect.

You can typically cancel your coverage anytime, but you’ll want to be aware of any cancellation policies (e.g., 30 days notice, written notice) before you enroll. Read plan details or ask your dental insurance provider.

If you’re in between jobs or in an employer waiting period for benefits, you can still enroll in an individual dental insurance plan.

When your dental insurance needs are temporary, it is possible to enroll in a dental plan for the short term. You can typically cancel your coverage at anytime, but you’ll want to be aware of any cancellation policies (e.g., 30 days notice) so be sure to check the plan’s cancellation policy before you buy.

If you’re in between jobs or in an employer waiting period for benefits, you can still enroll in an individual dental insurance plan.

Is dental insurance worth it?

Not entirely convinced you need dental benefits? Your dental insurance plan will not only help cover the cost of unexpected dental procedures, it may also encourage you to maintain routine dental visits.

The American Dental Association recommends regular visits to the dentist for prevention and treatment of oral disease, and studies show that people with private dental insurance are more likely to visit the dentist than those without it.

If you value healthy teeth and gums and want to reduce what you pay out of pocket for dental care, you may find it worthwhile to enroll in a dental insurance plan.

Start exploring your affordable dental insurance options today with an online quote, or call 800-821-3054 to speak with a licensed dental insurance agent.