Dental Insurance

Tuesday Tip: book an appointment with me to determine your dental needs to discover if dental insurance or a dental savings plan is right for you.

I get asked questions a lot about dental insurance. The questions are usually focused on “do I need dental insurance?” and “what they’re waiting periods?”

With dental insurance, it is really on a case-by-case basis. Dental insurance can be very pricey, and a lot of times there are waiting periods. Depending on what your needs are, insurance may not make sense for you. If you have a lot of work that needs to be done, you can get plans that will pay out $1500 to $2000 a year (which is not a whole lot if you need a bunch of work done), but there are the waiting periods for major services.

A lot of times, I talk through this with my clients in order to find out what they need. Do you just need cleanings and checkups, or do you have kids that need oral surgery? If you can get dental insurance through your employer, that’s usually your best bet, because waiting periods are usually waived. This means you can get the treatment done. Employer-based dental insurance is usually quite affordable compared to just getting it on your own. You can use it right away, and get some help to alleviate some of the costs.

If you don’t have access to dental insurance through an employer, then we need to look at individual plans that best fit your needs. The biggest player in dental insurance is Delta Dental. They’re nationwide, they have a huge network, and can be sold individually. But again, there are some limitations on major dental work. If you just want coverage because you are worried about needing work later on, then this is a great tool because it does have in and out-of-network benefits. Of course, you’re going to save tons of money if you stay in-network. With Delta Dental being nationwide, the network’s very large. So that is the one I generally recommend.

The other option that you can choose is to use a dental savings plan. There are various ones available, and I always recommend that you check with your provider to make sure they accept a particular plan. A dental savings plan can be a really helpful tool because it is much more affordable than month-to-month insurance, as you usually pay a yearly amount. For a family, it’s usually about $170 for the whole year, which comes out to less than $15 dollars a month. With a savings plan, you do have to use in-network doctors, but you get the same pricing as if you had dental insurance. What do I mean by that? Well with the dental savings plan, let’s say you have one, and that our dentist normally takes let’s say Aetna dental insurance. You then get charged the Aetna pricing, which is basically giving you a discount. So you’re only paying the dentists what Aetna would have paid the dentist anyway. It works the same way for different plans. Humana and Cigna have one, and Carrington has one that can be used even if you haven’t met the waiting periods. We just always want to make sure your doctor is in-network because the dentist does have to be in-network for that to work. But you do get savings every time you go to the dentist, and it’s a lot cheaper than insurance.

The best option when it comes to your dental coverage is to schedule an appointment with me so that I can go through all your current dental needs to determine if dental insurance or dental savings would be the best option for you.

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