Routine dental care is not only just good for maintaining your oral health. Your dentist can learn a lot about your other potential health issues just from a regular check up. For example, chronically bleeding gums can be a sign of diabetes.
This is why you should never skip your routine visits to the dentist. But many people in the USA make this mistake due to the cost of dental care.
Having dental insurance can provide you with financial coverage and save you money. Most dental insurances cover the expenses of a bi-annual dental checkup with a cleaning and xrays. They also cover a portion of root canals, crowns, and fillings.
To help understand this better, this blog will shed light on the primary things you need to know before purchasing dental insurance.
The dental insurance coverage
Annual dental checkups or checkups every six months can be expensive without dental insurance. Fortunately, most dental insurances will cover most or the entire portion of preventive services. This includes visual exam, X-rays, cleaning, and sealants
Insurance also covers a portion of major dental procedures, such as dentures, crowns, root canals, implants, and orthodontics.
When it comes to coverage dental procedures, most plans follow a 100-80-50 format:
100% coverage of preventative care
80% of basic dental restorative care like fillings, and extractions and root canals
50% of major dental care costs like crowns, dentures, implants, orthodontics.
Of course, finding a dental insurance plan that covers 100% of basic and major procedures can be tough. At most, you can find plans that cover about 60% of the costs. Very rarely will the coverage be higher.
The ideal thing to do here is to ensure that your dental insurance plan will cover at least 100% of preventative dental care.
The cost of dental insurance
It is difficult for us to tell you beforehand about how much your premium will be for any given dental insurance in a particular year. But, in general, your dental insurance cost can vary, depending on a few factors, such as:
- Dental service requirements
- The type of dental plan
Additionally, the cost of dental insurance usually is derived from five different sources:
- Premiums– These are the annual or monthly payments you make to maintain the insurance coverage.
- Coinsurance– This is the percentage of care that you pay from your pockets after fulfilling the deductible requirements.
- Annual maximums– This is the maximum amount the insurance policy will pay, and after that, you will be liable to pay the rest of the costs.
- Deductibles– This is the amount you pay for the coverage on an annual basis until your insurance plan kicks in.
- Copays– Under the copay clause, you as the policyholder need to pay a fixed part of the insurance from your pocket, like during your visit to the dentist.
The different types of dental insurance plans
The type of dental plan you choose directly impacts the overall cost of the insurance. Hence, it will do you well to know about them from the beginning. So, take a look at the following dental policy types and how they can affect the costs.
Dental PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) or DPPO
DPPOs are one of the most popular choices when it comes to dental insurance. You get access to a network of providers from which you can choose. But you have to go to a dentist within that network, or it will cost you more.
Usually, the plans include the annual deductible, copays, and coinsurance. You also have to fulfill the deductible requirement before getting the coverage benefits.
Dental HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or DHMO
There are no deductibles or annual maximum in DHMOs. It also excludes the charge fees. This makes this plan one of the most affordable options out there.
In this plan, your dental preventive care is usually fully covered. Also, the monthly costs are lower in this type of policy. You just have to choose a dentist prior to setting up the plan. But keep in mind that you will not be covered if you choose other dentists. The downside is that it’s very hard to schedule dental procedures, and the appointments are usually a lot faster with less personal attention.
Termed also as “fee-for-service” plans, dental indemnity plans are relatively more expensive. There is no network of providers in this type of plan, allowing you more freedom to choose the dentist you want.
Additionally, you will have an annual deductible in this type of plan and you need to pay for coinsurance once you fulfill the deductible requirement.
When it comes to choosing a dental insurance plan, you must consider all the above factors. Only after you fully understand the ins and outs of a particular plan, should you make a final decision.
You can even get a free quote from service providers that will help you compare the costs better. But once you are done, a good insurance plan will help you maintain your overall health and wellness proactively without breaking the bank