Understanding Dental Insurance


Dental insurance provides coverage for preventative dental services. The purpose of dental insurance is to assist you to maintain good oral health and to cover the cost of your dental visits. That is why emphasis is placed on preventative dental care to catch early signs and symptoms of mental illness. Dental insurance is a must if you are a regular teeth cleaning and brushing visitor to the dentist. The best way to find affordable dental insurance is through surfing the Internet.

Your state health department may have dental insurance guidelines that will help you find affordable coverage. In most cases, an individual out-of-pocket fee will be required before coverage is offered. If your state health department does not offer guidelines for finding an affordable dental plan, or an amount of waiting period between coverage application and receiving coverage, then your best option is to check out an independent dental plan provider.

One of the features of dental insurance plans is the annual maximum out-of-pocket expense limit. For purposes of our purposes, annual maximum out-of-pocket expense will mean the amount given to you by the plan to be paid at the end of the year (provided that the policy has been in effect for one year). The annual maximum is usually around two percent of the total cost for routine dental services (flossing, tooth brushing, dental x-rays, etc.) and most policies provide coverage for preventive services too. Be careful to read the fine print of any policy you are considering, as some limits are imposed to protect the provider against excessive claims.

One factor that can significantly affect the price of a dental insurance plan is what is called a “select procedure” clause. A select procedure is one or more dental treatments that are specifically excluded from coverage. Some examples include certain braces and other prosthetics, as well as certain cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and certain dental surgeries. Some plans also offer coverage for certain elective procedures, such as dental surgery for purposes of correcting a birth defect. Again, if you’re looking for a policy that offers comprehensive coverage, select procedures must be included.

Another aspect of a good dental insurance plan deals with the deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses related to major dental procedures. In general, the higher the deductible, the less the monthly premium costs are going to be. Deductibles can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. For instance, a lower deductible means a higher premium will be required. Another aspect of deductibles involves the presence of “Coinsurance” charges, which can tack onto the overall cost of major procedures, especially when multiple visits are needed to treat the same issue.

Since the deductibles and co-pays involved in dental insurance plans are so high, you need to focus heavily on finding a plan that provides adequate coverage. Don’t automatically assume that a high deductible will provide adequate coverage, as this could lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event you need care beyond the amount of coverage provided. You also need to make sure that you understand the total monthly premium like health insurance, so that you don’t double up or get hit with a deductible more than you bargained for. Lastly, be sure to understand any fine print and understand how many visits may be required for most procedures. Most plans require one to two visits to ensure the procedure is done correctly.