Dental insurance is one of the most commonly purchased private insurance types and essential to have if you are interested in preventing unplanned dental expenses, or keeping your dental and oral health in the best shape you can.
Dental health insurance may provide benefits for several different types of dentist services, including:
- Radiographs (5 x-rays)
- Oral surgery
The comprehensiveness of a dental health care insurance plan can vary substantial with the most complete coverage available to employer sponsored large groups.
The importance of dental health insurance
Dental plans are a very important decision for you and your family; the importance of having the coverage of a dental health plan relies on your necessities, for instance if you are interested in:
Preventing and minimizing the chance of paying full cost for dental health problems, dental coverage would be a great solution for you.
Protecting younger family members – children usually benefit most from this type of insurance due to common needs from braces and fillings; having dental coverage makes it a lot easier for you and your family to be protected from problems, regarding your dental and oral health.
Benefits of dental health care insurance
Dental coverage is not always considered as essential as health insurance because the potential for financially devastating claims are far less. There are plenty benefits in purchasing individual dental insurance, but the covered services according to the policy, and the premiums you choose, can vary substantially.
Some of the benefits Insurance companies offer include:
- 100% coverage for regular cleanings, this service might even be available for you as soon as your dental health insurance is approved.
- Partial coverage for orthodontic work.
- Partial coverage for oral surgery.
Different types of dental health insurance
Several types of dental insurance are available on the market and some health insurance plans may even include supplemental coverage for limited dental related expenses. If you are in need of a more specific dental plan, there are many options for you to consider. There are two main types of dental coverage, managed care plans and indemnity plans.
Indemnity plans, also known as fee-for-service, offer great advantages. There are no in-plan dentists, providing you with the flexibility of choosing your own dentist with no regard for whether they are contracted with the dental insurance company. Sometimes indemnity health insurance plans cost more than HMOs and PPOs, but the payoff is the flexibility of choices.
PPO (5preferred provider organization) is a type of insurance that works as a managed care program. This means that dentist and orthodontists sign a contract with the insurance company, agreeing to provide their services at a negotiated and reduced rate. Members get the benefits of membership that allows them to obtain substantial discounts below their regularly-charged rates. Generally, a PPO dental plan it is far less expensive than an Indemnity dental plan.
DHMO (5Dental Health Maintenance Organizations), also called capitation dental insurance plan, contracts with a specific group of dentists who are compensated a set fee to provide dental treatment to members of the DHMO. Usually the insurance companies pay the dentist a certain amount per patient. DHMO is the least expensive of the dental health plans, but the coverage may be limited to preventative and basic dental care.
Discount cards are specially designed for individuals who already have a dental plan but find it inadequate or insufficient. For example, if individuals are already covered with a basic dental insurance and he/she needs oral surgery, but surgery is not a service covered by the existing policy, a discount card would provide some financial assistance over paying the standard rates.
Considerations before choosing a dental health plan
Finding the best dental coverage can become a complicated process. So here is a quick guide of things you should keep in mind when shopping for individual dental insurance.
One of the most important things is the treatments and services you will be able to receive under the description of your policy. Basic coverage may include cleanings every 6 months, treatments for gum disease and tooth decay, tooth scaling, dental fillings, and x-rays. Keep in mind that polices might exclude pre-existing oral conditions and cosmetic dentistry such as orthodontia, veneers and teeth whitening treatments.
Choosing the right dental insurance always depends on your specific needs. If your main concern is the low cost premiums, DHMO´s would be the best choice for you. If you need a more specialized dental health plan because of pre-existing needs, or maybe you just want to enjoy full-coverage for cosmetic dentistry, indemnity plans would be the way to go for you.