Why do You Need Dental Insurance?
Having health Insurance is a good thing to cover your health care costs, like medical supplies, inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, and many other things except your teeth. So when you head to a dentist, you health insurance will likely ignore your claims. Visiting a dentist is not cheap. A root canal may cost you $300 to $1,000, a crown is about $1,500, and even a simple cleaning will likely cost you $100. That is why many people interested to join dental insurance and get the coverage.
The second reason is dentistry has changed over the last years. The focus has changed from restorative to preventative. In the past, people only went to a dentist if they had a problem, but today people are trying to prevent dental problems, especially starting at an early age. So, having dental insurance doesn’t mean you must have dental problems, but it will come in handy in an emergency case.
Dental Insurance Plans
Dental insurance is designed to help you pay dental care costs. There are several options available for you and your family, but generally they are grouped into three categories:
(1) Dental Health Managed Organizations (DHMO)
This plan allows you to select an in-network dentist and use the benefits provided in that network. Dentists who sign contracts with a dental insurance company will give a discount for their services as an In-Network Provider. Many DHMO insurance plans have no annual maximum benefit limitations, little or no waiting periods, and cover major dental work near the start of the policy. Some dental insurance companies may offer free semi-annual preventative treatment, like dentures, implants, crowns, fillings. This plan is great to help defray the high cost of the dental procedures.
(2) Preferred Provide Network dental plans (PPO)
The PPO dental plan works similar to a DHMO while using an In-Network facility. However, this plan allows you to use a Non-Participating Provider or an Out-of-Network. Most dental insurance plans have an annual maximum benefits limit, so once the limit is exhausted any additional treatments become the patient’s responsibility. As noted, any different of fees is also the patient’s responsibility. Every year the annual maximum is reissued, however the date may vary as a company fiscal year, calendar year or your date of enrollment.
(3) Indemnity Dental Insurance Plan
This dental plan allows you to meet any dentist who want to accept this type of coverage. So, you can use your personal dentist’s services, while she/he may not participate in any dental network. The insurance company will pay the dentist a percentage of your services depending the policy you purchased. In addition you have to review the annual limitations, stated deductible, waiting periods, co-payment requirements, and graduated percentage scales based on the length of time and/or type of procedure you have owned the policy prior to starting your dental work.
Generally, every dental insurance company has a list of prices, or a fee schedule for the dental procedures or services they offer to you. The fee schedule is commonly used as the transactional instrument between the consumer, dentist and/or dental office, and the insurance company. The amount of fee is generally based on an average of fees in your area (Usual and Customary dental services).
Full Coverage Dental Insurance
Since most dental procedure are so expensive for people, full coverage dental insurance is something that many people want to get. Full coverage dental insurance can help save your money on some dental procedures. However, it may vary depending on your plan and insurance company you choose. For example, with one company, you may end up paying a third of the cost. While, another company you might expect to pay half the normal costs. However, most insurance companies offer the same types of coverage. There are three tiers of full coverage dental insurance; major, minor, and basic coverage.
Major Coverage. Major dental care coverage including some serious dental procedures like surgery, denture fittings, tooth extractions, and root canals. Most full coverage policies only cover a small portion of the dental care costs. Although it only covers a small portion, it can be a great help, since the costs of these procedures are very expensive.
Minor Coverage. This dental care coverage including common dental procedures like dental filling. The insurance company may partially cover the costs and other possible procedures that are involved.
Basic coverage. This kind of dental care is considered preventative, because keeping you from serious dental issues. With this coverage, you’d receive a certain number of check-ups and cleanings per year.