Proper dental care can be an important component of our well-being. As with all insurance-related decisions, you should consider many factors when purchasing dental insurance such as the many types of plans to consider, from PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) and HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) to dental indemnity insurance plans and discount dental plans.
Looking at Dental Insurance Coverage Types
Having dental insurance coverage can help you ensure the health of your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, if you have to bear the full cost of dental care, you may find it difficult to pay out of pocket. Without dental insurance coverage, you may be tempted to skip regular cleanings and checkups, leading to serious dental health problems.
Similar to medical insurance plans, dental insurance policies are often categorized as either indemnity or managed-care plans. The major differences are concentrated in out-of-pocket costs, choice of dental-care providers and how bills are paid.
Usually, dental indemnity insurance plans offer a broader selection of dental-care providers than managed-care policies. With an indemnity policy, the insurance carrier pays for covered services only after receiving a bill. This means that you may have to pay up front and then obtain reimbursement from your insurance carrier. Managed-care policies often maintain their own dental provider networks. Dentists participating in a network agree to perform services for patients at pre-negotiated rates and usually will submit the claim to the dental insurance company for you.
What’s Included in Basic Dental Insurance Coverage
Understanding what is covered by your dental insurance plan can be challenging. Coverage differs from policy to policy and from provider to provider, so it’s critical to read your policy’s fine print to fully grasp what your dental insurance covers. In general, basic dental insurance coverage includes three categories:
- Preventive and diagnostic dental care: Almost all dental plans and dental insurance policies cover basic dental costs that are meant to prevent dental problems. For the policyholder, this means most dental insurance plans cover a large part or all of the costs associated with basic services such as cleaning, checkups and other dental procedures meant to prevent tooth and gum disease. This coverage is important because it encourages people to seek regular dental care, helping prevent complicated and costly problems.
- Basic dental-care and dental procedures: Most dental plans and dental insurance policies also cover basic dental procedures such as fillings, tooth extractions, fixing chipped teeth and other such basic procedures. Basic dental care varies, however, from one provider to another. In general, because dental insurance providers cover a significant portion of basic dental care, it makes sense to select a provider covering as many dental-care basics and procedures as possible.
- Major dental care: Although not all dental insurance plans cover major dental care, some cover at least a portion of these costs. Major dental care can include procedures such as surgery, orthodontics, denture work and other expensive dental procedures. If you’ll require major dental care, you may wish to look for dental insurance providers willing to pay for as large a percentage of this type of care as possible.
BeneFinder’s agents can help you save money and time in finding the best dental insurance plan for you and your family.
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