Costs, Benefits, and Alternatives of Dental Insurance

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Dental insurance can cover most dental care types and help you to save much money with great dentist bills. According to the National Health Interview Survey of CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), one – third Americans didn’t see any dentist last year due to money. And the number of ADA (American Dental Association) shows almost 40 percent of adults didn’t go to see a dentist owing to cost.

For whatever reason, before your teeth need to care, you should have some best option for a payment solution. Based on crunch-out numbers, you can determine which is appropriate for you.

Figure 1 Dental insurance - a little extra protection

The way dental insurance works

With the various network of preferred dentists, oral specialists and providers, choosing an HMO or any dentists in the network will be the best – saving –money option.

Various dental insurance network types include:
  • An HMO network with more restriction – where you can use an in-network dentist without pay
  • A PPO network with less restriction - where you can use an out-of-network dentist, but you may pay out of pocket more money.
A compensation plan - where you can go to your want-to-choose dentist, but you have to pay in advance, submit a claim, then wait for reimbursement.

For the most common dental PPO plans, you will have annual deduction as the amount you pay your dentist before the plan-care pay (maybe $50 or $100). Consequently, your dental care will be covered by the plan with a given percentage rate. The most common rate is 100-80-50, which means:
  • 100% of preventive care and cleanings
  • 80% of frequent procedures like cavity fillings.
  • 50% of prime work such as extractions and bridges.
PPO and compensation PPO dental plans often limit their payment amount to your care per year as the annual maximum benefit.

HMOs commonly neither have any maximum benefits nor receive any percentage of charges from you. You have to pay copays in an HMO for each visit. According to NADP (National Association of Dental Plans), the deductible rate for dental HMO is lower than 84% - $25.

Group dental insurance

In line with NADP, in America, 92% of people have private dental insurance from their job or another group. Most employers get a group dental insurance rate with the lowest cost coverage and just pay the worker’s premiums partially.

From NADP statistics, dental insurance offered by employers is likely the cheapest coverage: for an individual around $19 to $32 a month on average. This means around $228 to $384 each year without the contribution of employers. Also, group dental insurance can be provided by other non-employer groups. For instance, members of AARP also have getting-group-dental-insurance chances by signing up through association.

Figure 2 Dental insurance offered by employers

Individual dental insurance

It will be an ideal option for those who are not offered private dental insurance plans by their employers. They can buy them through several insurance brokers or on dental plan websites. They may take about $20 to $60 a month for a member in your family.

Individual insurance plans will also cover your large dental bills as group dental plans. However, there are some additional rules for them. Notice that individual dental insurance should have:
  • At-least-12-month contracts.
  • Waiting periods of 6 to 18 months before covering the expensive and serious procedures.
The purposes of these rules are to prevent people from purchasing dental insurance when they have an extremely strong demand and from canceling when they see their great dental bills have been paid.

Adults’ dental benefits are not covered in many individual health insurance plans, but the plans sold in federal and state marketplaces by ACA (Affordable Care Act) include the children’s dental benefits. Owning an ACA plan for the dental coverage of your children is a perfect choice.

Dental discount plans

In the fact that dental discount plans are not a type of dental insurance, they are not used to reduce the cost of dental bills with many procedures. In general, you can regard them as dental savings programs. These programs are provided as the dental insurance’s alternatives and work as a membership club more than an insurance plan.

This is the way they work. For example, the dental insurance premiums are often much higher than your annual fee and a sometimes enrollment fee. In return, you will have a discount plan at the dentist office, but you may pay more than usual dental insurance.

If you purchase a dental discount plan even for your family or yourself, just an annual fee, you will have the discount in a year. Plans for an individual can range from $70 to $200 and for a family is from $120 to $300. That’s worth for a year’s discount.

Discount plans also use networks like dental insurance. Some have thousands of providers; some have fewer than 200. You should use plans’ website to choose dental insurance discount of providers, oral specialists, and dentists who are in the network.

Figure 3 Dental Discount Plans for savings

Paying in cash

If you don’t have more demand than 6-month to 9-month cleaning and checking your oral health, after dental treatment, planning to pay in cash can bring you some benefits.

If you do this, you should save your money for any extensive dental treatments. In this situation, if you have prompt cash payment during treatment time with your dentist, you can perform your payment plan with him,

Determine your best dental coverage

There’s something wrong when you say your mouth is healthy and you don’t have any demand for seeing a dentist. CDA statistics show that about 27% of adults aging from 20 to 64 have tooth problems like tooth decay.

You should look for a dental discount plan when you want serious treatment. It will lower your cost of treatment. Otherwise, a dental plan without waiting periods is a good option for expensive major procedures (root canal). This may be more expensive than usual plans, but it’s still lower than root canal expense.

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