A healthy mouth is about more than having a pretty smile. Oral health is directly connected to heart health, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions. In addition, dental issues such as tooth decay, missing teeth, and bad breath, can harm your self-esteem. For these reasons and more, maintaining oral health is important, which makes dental insurance a quality investment.
Different dental plans offer various types of coverage, but your care options fall in to four general categories.
This is the general care that keeps your teeth and gums healthy. It usually includes regular cleanings and dental checkups, annual x-rays and fluoride treatments. This care is the least expensive and the most important because it can help you avoid serious dental problems later. Insurance policies usually provide 100% coverage for these services.
During a regular checkup or if you are experiencing pain, you discover that you need a basic procedure such as fillings, root canals, and gum disease treatments. These services are more expensive than preventative care. Typically, medical insurance covers 60% of the cost for these procedures, leaving you the responsibility for paying the other 40%.
Dental crowns, tooth implants, and bridgework are primary examples of major procedures. Typically, insurance companies cover 50% of the costs for these services.
Cosmetic procedures are those that address issues that do not pose a potential health hazard, such as tooth whitening. Insurance companies do not pay for cosmetic procedures but it is important to understand that how a procedure is classified varies from one provider to another. For example, an implant might be considered a major procedure by one company and a cosmetic procedure with another.
There are four basic categories of dental insurance plans, and each has different benefits and drawbacks.
Dental Indemnity Insurance
This plan allows you to pick the right dentist for your needs regardless of their network. The challenge of this type of plan is that you pay your dentist upfront and file a claim with your insurance provider. Not only do you need to have the funds to pay the bill in full at the time service is provided, but you may also have a long wait to receive your reimbursement.
Dental Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
You can also pick your own dentist with this plan but the insurance provider offers you a discounted fee when using one of their preferred providers. While these plans provide greater flexibility than some of the others, the premiums are often higher.
Dental Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
For this coverage, you must select your dentist from a list of pre-approved providers. As long as there are quality options close to where you live, this can be a good option and you will pay lower premiums than with the PPO.
Discount Dental/Savings Plan
With this option, an insurance provider has negotiated a discounted fee schedule with a select group of dentists. You, as a plan owner, pay this discounted rate directly to the dentist when services are provided. This structure can save you a lot of money depending on your needs but you must pay the rate that was set between the insurance provider and the dentist.
Before selecting a plan you should consider the following issues:
Before selecting a plan and provider, check with your employer or professional association to see if you can purchase this coverage through them at a group rate.
Determining the right plan option and carrier can be daunting and the best way to approach this challenge is to get several quotes from various providers. We can help you make the right choice for your needs. At Alliance we represent the best carriers in Florida and can provide you with options you may not have considered. With us, you have access to a wide variety of providers and plans so it is easy to obtain multiple dental insurance quotes. Call us at (866) 771-4715 to speak with one of our skilled agents or request an online quote.
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