When set with the task of choosing from all the dental plans available to you, it can become a little overwhelming with all the information involved. Whether you are going to purchase it for yourself or you receive dental insurance from your employer choosing the best plan that will cover your family and your needs now and in the future is crucial. So where do you start when selecting a plan for you.
The premiums for dental insurance will cost you much less than that of health insurance, but the catch is dental insurance policies carry an annual limit of coverage. Typically policy limits are between $1000-$1500 a year and usually a deductible from $50-$100. Although they cover a large percent of the basics such as cleanings and x-rays, when it comes to more extensive dental work such as root canals or crowns a much smaller percentage is covered, or it is not covered at all.
Most dental plans are “managed care plans” where a patient is required to choose their provider from a pre-approved list. This list contains dentists who have agreed to discounted fees and allow the patient and dentists to determine the required treatment, and then cover a percentage of the cost.
The most flexibility is offered through “freedom of choice” dental plans. This type of plan covers any dentist of your choosing and the reimbursement is not dependent based on the type of treatment you receive.
Typically a cap on the payments a dentist can receive for services is a fixed amount that comes through the HMOs PPOs coverage. Choosing an HMO will mean less taken out of your paycheck, however a higher expense for complex treatments such as braces, bridges, or implants.
Decide how much out-of-pocket spending you will be able to afford and how much dental work you or your family will be in need of. Read through each policy and understand exactly what is covered and what is not. Both individual policies as well as group policies provide limited benefits and can vary significantly from plan to plan. The majority of plans will only cover a fraction of what it costs for major work.
When sorting through dental plans for you and your family keep in mind that coverage is great for preventative care such as regular cleanings, x-rays, and checkups. Dental maintenance and restorative care are very important for your overall health. Read through what the policies provide and choose the one that fits your needs the most.