Oral care is necessary, but it can be expensive. So, the best option is to purchase a dental insurance plan that could save you thousands of dollars. However, buying the right dental insurance that fits all your needs within your budget can seem a bit overwhelming. To help you, here are the most important things you need to consider when looking for dental insurance.
It’s important to remember that not all dental insurance plans are the same. Some plans are more comprehensive than others and cover costs for a wide range of services. So, while researching, you need to carefully review each policy and decide the level of coverage you need. Typically, plans include the following services:
- Routine and preventive care: Includes periodic checkups, cleanings, fillings, x-rays, cavity prevention treatments, and root canals.
- Emergency care: Includes repair and extraction of cracked or broken tooth and post-accident treatment involving teeth and mouth.
- Complex care: Includes orthodontic treatments, dentures, or bridges.
Please note that these services might not be covered 100% in all dental plans.
You want to pick a plan that you can afford. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) are the two main types of dental insurance plans. With HMO plans, you will pay lower premiums and no annual deductibles. However, your out-of-pocket costs can be higher. Whereas, if you choose PPO plans, you will pay higher premiums but have less out-of-pocket expenses. However, you are required to pay an annual deductible, which varies depending on the company and policy.
Insurance cap, limit, and waiting period
Typically, dental insurance policies have an annual coverage limit between $1000 and $1500. Plus, if you opt for a PPO plan, you need to pay an additional $50-$100 per year. Remember, if you reach your annual cap before the 12-month period ends, you will have to pay for your dental care for the remaining months. Also, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the average cost for a dental crown is anywhere between $750 and $1200, and the cost for a single implant starts at around $1500. Some dental insurance policies also have waiting periods on certain procedures that can range from several months to years, and you will have to wait for that period to end before getting those procedures done.
Dentists in your network
If you have a dentist you prefer, ensure that they accept the policy you choose. An HMO plan requires you to select a primary care dentist within the insurance company’s in-network, while PPO plans are more flexible and give you the freedom to choose from any in-network or out-network dentist. However, remember that out-network dentists generally charge higher fees, increasing your out-of-pocket expenses.