What kind of dental care do you typically need in a year?
Are you all about preventive care? Preventive care typically includes routine exams and cleanings to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy, as well as sealants and fluoride.
Do you occasionally need basic care? Basic care tends to include dental procedures such as fillings or extractions to repair and restore individual teeth due to decay.
Are you expecting major care soon? Major care usually includes more complex and expensive dental procedures such as crowns, bridges and root canals.
Different dental plans offer different levels of coverage for care in each of these categories. That coverage level will impact your plan premium as well as what you pay out of pocket for dental care. In addition to deductible, copays and coinsurance, take into consider annual maximum benefit limits, additional discounts that may be available to members, and plans bundled with vision benefits.
Do you have a preferred dentist?
Many dental insurance plans require you to use a network provider, while some may allow you to choose any provider. Carefully review the details of plans you are considering to see what, if any, provider restrictions are in place.
If you need to see a network provider, check the plan’s provider directory to see if your dentist participates. Directories may be found on the dental insurer’s website, or you can call the company’s member services number for assistance and the most up to date information.
Whether you must use a network provider or not, it is important to verify that your dentist or oral healthcare provider accepts your plan.
Does the plan include waiting periods?
Some dental plans include waiting periods of six to twelve months before certain services are covered, which is one reason to enroll in dental benefits before you need them. Typically, there are no waiting periods for preventive care, but it is good practice to check before you buy. A waiting period may work for you, but knowing about it before you buy can help you avoid surprises.
These are just a few things to consider when shopping for and comparing dental insurance plans. Work with a licensed health insurance producer who can help you weigh your coverage options and answer your questions.
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What is the best dental insurance company?
The best dental insurance company for you may differ from the best dental insurance company for someone else. It’s often a matter of preference and options, much like choosing the best health insurance company.
Here are key things to consider when comparing dental insurers:
- What companies offer dental plans that match your needs?
- How do premium rates for similar coverage compare from company to company?
- Are your preferred providers covered by (and accept) any of the plans the insurer offers?
- When visiting the company website or speaking with customer services, are you satisfied with your experience?
- From whom do your friends and family buy dental insurance, and what do they have to say about it?
- What is the company’s reputation? Look at reviews and ratings such as A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau.
Health insurance producers who sell dental coverage may sell plans from multiple companies and can help you draw comparisons and find dental benefits you consider affordable. You can also find dental plans online, whether directly through a carrier or from a website such as healthedeals.com.
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