There are several ways to buy dental insurance and many factors you need to take into account before you do so. Do you have a lot of dental issues that need work immediately or are you looking for dental care that will prevent issues from happening? Are you insuring yourself or a whole family? Do you have a particular dentist you work with or are you open to whoever is the cheapest? There are many more questions you need to ask yourself before you buy dental insurance. Here we will give you some tips on the ins and outs of the dental insurance industry so you will have more information before you purchase a plan.
If your employer does not offer dental insurance, you need to supplement a plan you have, or you simply need to buy dental insurance then follow our tips. You need to look at whether you want a PPO, EPO, or an HMO. You can compare annual maximums and pre-existing condition clauses when you buy dental insurance. You also need to know about the three different categories for dental care: preventative, basic and restorative.
In- and Out-of-Network Dentists
If you have a favorite dentist that you have had for years and do not want to leave them, then you should not get a plan where they are not part of the network. You will be forced to pay out-of-network prices which can be pretty close to full price for whatever services you receive. You have to weigh the cost of the monthly premium against what you would pay for dental care and then make your decision. It is always best financially to use in-network dentists and dental specialists. Usually, insurance companies work with a wide variety of providers so you are sure to find someone you like to work with.
Annual maximums are something you need to look for when you buy dental insurance. The annual maximum is what the dental insurance company will pay out for you each year. Unused benefits are lost and cannot be rolled over. If you find insurance that is really cheap but find it also has a very low annual maximum, then you may find yourself paying a lot more out of pocket than you bargained for. Figure out how much work you will need in a year, barring any emergencies, and see how much of the annual maximum you would use. If you are over the annual maximum after just one or two visits, it is probably not high enough for your needs.
Pre-Existing Condition Clauses
You will be hard-pressed to find an insurance plan that does not have pre-existing condition clauses. Most insurance plans do not want you to sign up for insurance, get a bunch of dental work done, and then cancel your policy. This is why it is a good idea to always carry insurance. You do not want to find yourself with a dental emergency and no insurance. Tooth pain is not something that can be put to the side. It must be dealt with. If you do not have dental insurance at any time you could find yourself paying top dollar due to pre-existing conditions. You can often find coverage immediately through a discount dental plan if you cannot buy dental insurance that works for you.
Preventative, Basic, and Major
When you are looking to buy dental insurance, there are three main categories of dental care you want to pay attention to. You want as much coverage as possible for preventative dental care. Most policies will give you 100% coverage or at least close. This includes cleanings, sealants and fluoride treatments. Basic care will cover things like fillings, extractions and even root canals. Major dental work includes crowns, bridges, implants, surgical extractions and more. If you are looking to buy dental insurance, try to get as much coverage as you can in these areas. If you find less than 50%, then you should probably shop around more.
When you are ready to buy dental insurance, make sure you have the facts in hand. There are a lot of policies that are unclear or misleading, but armed with the appropriate facts you can make a great decision.