Should I insure my teeth?

Is it worth to purchase dental insurance at all? The article will help you find out the answer.

To be fair, the first impression is important. And while many people forget, their teeth include in the first impression as well. In case you haven’t paid attention to the worth, this is a good chance to find out how much your teeth costs. And if they are so important, is it worth to purchase dental insurance or not.

What is the price of the dental insurance?

Dental insurance premiums don’t offer cheap prices. Sometimes you feel like paying money out of your pocket is even cheaper. However, the point is dental insurance is not only after simple checkups and cleanings. Most insurance policies emphasize preventative care. They cover most of the costs of annual checkups, cleanings, plus X-rays, and fluoride treatments. When it comes to bigger treatments, the cost can be ridiculously high, and this is when the real benefits kick in. You don’t have to spend money out of your own pocket as much as when without a dental insurance plan, which can save your hard-earned money.

According to the NADP and Delta Dental Plans Association, about two-thirds of Americans acquired dental insurance. If you fall into the one third, it’s time to consider dental insurance plans and check which quotas and policies suit your need most.
The coverage and exclusions

The coverage policies vary from plan to plan and provider to provider, however, they can be described as 100-80-50. Preventative and diagnostic care will be fully covered to ensure your overall oral health. For medium treatments such as fillings, root canals the price will be subsidized up to 80% from most insurance plans. Crowns, bridges and other major treatments will likely be covered up to 50%.

The estimated cost for a typical personal dental insurance is somewhere between $300 to #350 per year. However, the average out-of-pocket expenses for dental treatment is more than $500 per year per person, according to a report from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute.

Most of the dental care plans will only be as generous as $1,500 of coverage limit a year, although if you agree on a higher premium, the coverage limit can change. Dental insurance plans will not cover for any pre-existing conditions prior to the plan is agreed upon. Last but not least, cosmetic dental treatment will not be covered by the majority of dental insurance plans.

Which insurance plan is for me?

Individual dental insurance is categorized into 3 different plans: HMO, PPO, and indemnity plans.

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. HMO plan provides coverage only when you to access their in-network dentists.

PPO, known as Preferred Provider Organization, is a more popular option. They also provide in-network dentists but allow participants to use dentists outside the network. However, you have to pay for an additional fee or get lower coverage when using out-network dentists.

Indemnity plan, on the contrary, allows patients to see their preferred dentist and choose the percentage of coverage cost.

People often choose PPOs over indemnity plans since their in-network dentists charge a lower fee for dental treatments. For example, a crown that costs %500 without an insurance will only be cover 20% of the cost by an indemnity plan. The coverage rate of PPOs is likely higher.

Within a network, you will be charged for the discounted rate between the insurance company and the dentist. The dentist can’t charge you more.

Disadvantages of individual dental care plans

Individual dental care plans could be expensive if you calculate in short term. The coverage rate varies largely, and it will take you a while to figure out which plan is the most beneficial.

Another disadvantage individual dental care plans often come with a waiting period. That means if you just buy an insurance plan and happen to have a major treatment right after, you might not get the right to receive coverage from the insurance provider. Most individual plans refuse to cover fillings for the first six months. Sometimes you have to wait up to 18 months to access the whole benefits of the insurance plan

Is there any alternative insurance plan?

If you are looking for an alternative insurance plan instead of the traditional one, you may want to try a discount dental plan. Basically, you buy a certain service at a fixed rate or a discount annually.

Quality Dental Plan, for example, covers the basic preventative services such as two exams, two cleanings, X-rays,  and even teeth-whitening treatment. Patients can also get major treatments for fillings and root canals at an affordable price.

The advantages of this alternative plan are huge since you can access the coverage and services immediately. The drawbacks are, however, the services are widely various and in-network dentists are limited.

If I still say no to dental insurance

If after all, you still think you’re better off without an insurance, you should work directly with your dentist to see how things can be settled. For example, if you pay for the treatment without any coverage, you’d better build up a payment plan. You can also request for a 10% discount for the total bill.

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