What You Need to Know About Buying Dental Insurance
Dental insurance typically covers specific preventive care services (cleanings and checkups, fillings, crowns, root canals – for example), but it’s not open-ended like traditional health insurance.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to review these tips before you buy a plan. You can also call eHealthInsurance to talk to a licensed agent who can answer your questions.
Here are 5 easy steps you should follow when shopping for dental insurance:
1. Be sure your preferred dentist takes your plan. Many people have a dentist they know and love. If that’s you, it’s a good idea to find out which insurance companies your dentist accepts before you pick a plan. Our website and the licensed agents in our call center can help you search for plans accepted by your dentist. Almost all dental insurance policies use a ‘tiered’ cost-sharing system, which essentially means that you pay the least money out of pocket for your care if you use a dentist who is in your plan’s provider network.
2. Read the fine print. Some stand-alone dental insurance plans have cost-sharing
requirements (co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance). Be sure you know if a plan has co-pays and deductibles for regular checkups or emergencies. Find out what those co-payments and deductibles are. Expensive procedures like crowns and root canals may be subject to higher deductibles and co-payments than routine cleanings or fillings, depending on the plan you have.
3. Cosmetic dental surgery is almost never covered. Don’t expect dental insurance plans to cover the cost of cosmetic or elective procedures like teeth whitening or dental implants.
4. Only buy what you need. If you don’t need things like braces, don’t waste money on dental insurance plans that cover braces. Stand-alone dental insurance policies come in all shapes and sizes. Some plans cover everything from braces to cleanings, while others cover a more limited set of benefits. Skipping the plans that offer benefits that you don’t need could save you money.
5. Don’t wait for problems to arise. If you want to buy dental insurance on Monday and have major dental surgery on Tuesday, you may be disappointed. Most dental insurance plans have waiting periods for any major dental work, so don’t procrastinate.