Get the facts: Everything you need to know about Dental insurance
Dental insurance is a highly sought after benefit by individuals who want oral care protection through insurance. In fact, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 55% of employees say that health insurance, including vision and dental insurance, is the most important benefit they can receive on top of a good salary. But let’s face it: Dental insurance options can be overwhelming. From indemnity plans to DMO dental plans, there are many options to choose from. So how do you know which plan is right for you? The first step is to learn the differences between the various plans. For example, some plans require your dentist to be part of a network, while others limit maximum charges or have set fees for specific services. Here’s a complete list of the dental insurance plan options and what they might mean to you. 1. Indemnity plans An indemnity dental plan is a popular insurance option for the following reasons: Most plans accept patients of any age.Routine cleanings can be paid at 100%.X-rays are typically included.Coverage for basic services like fillings, sealants and extractions, as well as major services like crowns, oral surgery and implants.Orthodontia options can be included in some plans.Some plans have no waiting periods for benefits, with coverage beginning as soon as the next day after enrollment.Some benefits and annual maximums can increase at the beginning of the second and third coverage periods - a “thank you” from the insurance company for continuing your policy.An indemnity plan generally allows patients to choose their own dentists, but some plans are paired with a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) network. Most plans have a maximum allowance in which the insurance company pays for each procedure, so it’s a good idea to understand what the costs and limitations are before purchasing a plan.With indemnity plans, your insurance company pays a certain percentage of claims based on the dental procedure. For example, dental cleanings might be covered 100% twice a year because your insurance company counts it as preventive care. But your insurance carrier may only pay 60% of the cost for filling a cavity or 50% for a root canal.Here's an example of how indemnity plans pay by procedure:Cleanings: Covered, with a maximum of two cleanings per year.Preventive services: CoveredX-rays: CoveredExtractions: CoveredFluoride treatments: CoveredSealants: Covered up to one time per yearFillings: 60%Root canals: 50%Crowns: 50%Your insurance company might even reward you in ways like paying a high percentage for the cost of a filling. Perks like these make it extra important to compare plans side by side to see how their benefits differ.2. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan is a form of indemnity insurance that uses a specific network of dentists to deliver dental services based on the insurance company’s agreement with that respective network.In a PPO network, the dentist must accept the insurance company's pre-set fee of the plan. But dentists outside of the network may have higher or lower fees than the plan allows, so it’s important to stay in-network to avoid confusion.You may want to avoid PPO plans in situations where you're shopping for a new plan, but your dentist isn't in network with the plan. That way, you won't have to pay out-of-network pricing or change dentists.3. Dental Maintenance Organizations (DMO)A Dental Maintenance Organization (DMO) is a network of dentists and specialists that are paid a fixed amount each month for any patient that has been assigned to that dentist. Think of it as a subscription service: You pay to have access to a specific service.When you join a DMO, you’re required to see a primary dentist that has been assigned to you and typically only pay a copayment (or nothing at all) for your dental services. But If you have to see a specialist, you'll need to get a referral from your primary dentist to a specialist within the network.DMO plans have their advantages. For one, they're predictable plans: Dentists must agree to the contracted fees negotiated between the network and the insurance company, so they can’t charge you more money for services. Plus, your out-of-pocket costs are minimized after the monthly premium.But a limited network and the inability to see the dentist of your choice can be a disadvantage of a DMO.4. Direct Reimbursement Plan (DRP)These plans work like health benefit plans.A DRP is typically self-funded and managed by your employer, which allows you to choose any dentist without being tied to a specific network. With a DRP, you'll get reimbursed for money spent on dental work with no limits.All employers work differently, though. So one employer may reimburse you after submitting a copy of your paid invoice, while others may pay the dentist directly to help ease your out-of-pocket responsibility.Benefits in this type of plan include:No monthly premium in many cases.No deductibles.No waiting periods.No pre-authorization required.Choose any dentist with no network limitations.5. Point of Service plans (POS)A point-of-service dental plan can be loosely defined as a “half DMO/half PPO” plan.Like a DMO, you can select an in-network dentist to be your primary dental care provider. But like a PPO, you can go outside of the network for other dental services, but you’d have to pay the full cost (unless the primary care dentist has made a referral to an out-of-network dentist or specialist). Then, in most cases, the plan will pay for the services.6. Dental discount plansDental discount plans can be a great option for individuals who want to save money on their dental bills, but don’t want to pay for dental insurance.As the name suggests, dental discount plans are not insurance plans. Instead, a company sells its discount plan via contract with a network of dentists and specialists. The dentists then agree to discount their dental fees by a certain percentage.When the patient goes to a dentist in the discount network, they pay the predetermined rate and don’t have to file any dental claims. There are also no waiting periods or deductibles.7. Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO)Like a DMO, exclusive provider organization plans require you to only see participating dentists within a set network of providers. There are no out-of-network benefits, so you’re responsible for the entire retail cost of your dental services if you don’t use a contracted provider within the EPO plan.8. Table or Schedule of Allowances plansTable plans are indemnity plans that pay a fixed dollar amount (or a percentage) for qualifying procedures, regardless of the total cost. This type of plan bases its pricing on a specific schedule based on the amount you’re charged for dental services.The table lists the maximum amount that the plan will pay for individual procedures, which means you’re required to pay for any difference between that amount and the amoun your dentist charges for the service. If you see an out-of-network dentist, there is no limit to the amount the dentist may charge.What dental plan is right for you?Take the time to shop around and compare dental plan benefits, plan pricing, and dentists to choose from.If you arm yourself with a better understanding of these plans, you can confidently purchase the best type of dental insurance - whether you need a long-term dental plan or short-term dental insurance option to fill gaps in coverage.
A good dental plan can not only benefit your smile - it can help your wallet too. Many major dental procedures can cost thousands. Even routine preventive cleanings can be more than $100 at a time. Add X-rays or fluoride treatment to the tab, and a routine dental visit can quickly cost hundreds of dollars. Cue dental insurance: Like health insurance, dental insurance provides you with benefits that help pay for dental costs. And whether you need a longer-term dental plan or short-term dental insurance option to fill gaps in coverage, know that you have plenty of flexible options to choose from. Picking the right dental plan can help curb expensive health care costs. But before you shop around for the best dental plan for your pearly whites, let's cover some common questions so you know the basics. What does dental insurance cover? Dental insurance can pay for things like annual cleanings, minor oral health fixes, or big-dollar dental claims for crowns and bridges. In general, dental coverage is broken out by preventive, basic and major services: Preventive dental care includes diagnostic and preventive services like regular oral exams, teeth cleaning, and x-rays. It may also include fluoride treatments and sealants (plastic tooth covering to prevent decay). In many cases, dental plans include 100% of the cost of preventive care.Basic dental care includes office visits, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment (gum disease), and root canals. Your insurance company might pay anywhere from 60 to 80% of the cost for these services, with you covering the rest of the cost. But if you're paying a lower percentage of the costs, you may have a high-dollar copay.Major dental care covers crowns, bridges, dentures, and inlays. Inlays are something between a filling and a crown: Your tooth might have extensive decay and need a more substantial filling, but it may not be in bad enough shape to require a crown. Meanwhile, crowns completely cover the tooth. Some dental insurance plans include root canals under "major" dental care, while others categorize them as "basic." The cost of major dental care is higher, and most insurance plans cover about 50% of the fee.There are two main types of dentail insurance plans:PPO dental plansDental Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) dental plans provide dental care for a fixed monthly premium. This type of plan allows you to visit any dentist within the PPO network for reduced service fees. You may go outside of the approved system, but your out-of-pocket costs will increase. This plan works well for those who want to see any dentist who takes their PPO plan.DMO dental plansDental Maintenance Organization (DMO) plans allow you to see any dentist within the approved network for no fees or for a reduced cost. In some cases, the prices for a DMO dental plan are lower than a PPO plan. However, you can't go outside of the network to receive dental care. This plan works well if you have a preferred dentist within the DMO network and want a lower fixed monthly premium.Dental insurance coverage can vary, so it’s a good idea to compare different plans to choose what's right for you.What do dental insurance plans offer?Dental plans typically cover some level (if not all) of cleanings, X-rays, and a percentage of basic services like fillings and major services like root canals. Many dental insurance plans also offer extra non-insurance wellness benefits to increase the value of the plan.Who is dental insurance good for?The choice to get dental insurance is ultimately up to you and your budget. But even if your mouth is healthy, dental insurance that covers preventive care at 100% can be valuable to have, especially when unexpected issues arise like filling a cavity or fixing a chipped tooth.Dental insurance may be right for you if you:Have missed the annual open enrollment period through your employerAre on Medicare and don’t have a dental planAre in-between jobs or have been laid off.Are a part-time or temporary worker and your employer does not offer dental benefits.Are a student, a recent graduate, or have aged out of your parent’s dental plan.Do not have a dental benefit through your employerHow much is dental insurance?The cost to have dental insurance varies based on your coverage, where you live, and other factors such as:Is it an individual or family policy?Is the dental insurance provided through an employer?What are the annual maximums?What are the annual deductible and the copays?Affordable dental insurance plans might pay for preventive care but not pay as high of a percentage for major services. If you need thousands of dollars of work done for crowns or a bridge, a higher-cost dental plan might pay for itself.Overall, monthly premiums range between $39 per month for an individual to $139 per month for a family (for the most part). FAIR Health has a handy calculator for dental costs, which you can use to estimate the cost of specific dental services.How much does the dentist cost if I don't have insurance?Dental services can get pretty pricey if you don't have insurance:A single filling can cost up to $300 on average.A standard dental cleaning can cost up to $200.An X-ray can range from $20 to $250.A dental crown can range from $500 to $1,500.Can I get dental insurance without a job?Yes. You don’t need a job to have dental insurance. As an example, dental insurance for college students is one way someone without traditional employee benefits can keep their oral hygiene in check.Not all employers offer dental insurance, but you can easily buy a dental insurance plan for yourself if you’re a freelancer or part of the gig economy.Anyone can shop around and sign up for dental insurance plans online - typically within minutes.Can you get dental insurance anytime?Yes. There is no open enrollment period like there is for health insurance. You can buy dental insurance any time of the year, and coverage typically starts within days of submitting your application.Note: There may be a waiting period for major services, so it’s smart to review any dental plan you’re interested in to confirm the waiting and coverage periods.Can I cancel dental insurance anytime?Absolutely. Dental insurance premiums are paid on a monthly basis, so you can cancel at any time. That means you can purchase dental coverage for a set period of time and cancel it with no penalty.How do I buy a dental insurance plan?The good news is you don’t have to go too far: You can quickly and easily compare dental plans right here.Just submit your ZIP code, birthday and gender to get a variety of dental plan options in your area.
Short Term Medical Insurance
Limited Fixed Indemnity Plans
© 2021-2023 HealthInsurance.com LLC