Dental insurance is often an additional coverage plan designed to cover your dental care. It’s a safety net in the event of major dental bills. Unfortunately, one-third of the population has not seen a dentist within the last year. The reason? The cost.
Most dental plans offer a network of providers, preferred dentists, and oral specialists. To the average consumer, this network means little until everything is laid out. If you select an HMO or preferred provider organization plan, using an in-network dentist is going to save you exceptional money over time.
Types of Dental Insurance Networks
- Restrictive HMO networks — You must use a network dentist, or the policy will not apply.
- Less restrictive PPO networks — You may use an out-of-network dentist, but you pay more money out of pocket.
- Indemnity plans — You choose which dentist to visit, pay upfront, then submit a claim for reimbursement.
The most common plan is a PPO plan. With such a policy, the annual deductible is often around $50 to $100. Once you meet your deductible, the plan will cover a varying percentage of your dental care.
Individual Dental Insurance
Your other option is individual dental insurance through a private plan. These typically cost between $20 to $60 per month per family member. However, an individual plan has a few caveats. For instance, there is generally a 12-month minimum contract and a 6- to 18-month waiting period for expensive procedures.
The Right Dental Coverage
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 27% of adults ages 20 to 64 live with untreated tooth decay. If you’re among these and you do not have dental benefits, it’s time to start looking for either a dental insurance plan or a dental discount plan now. Both can help you lower the cost of an upcoming dental procedure.
Did you know that a root canal costs around $1,300 on average? Most of us don’t have that kind of money stashed away. An insurance plan may be the only way to pay.