Is dental insurance worth the money?
Like most things in life, it depends. Unlike health insurance, dental insurance was not standardized under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). That means that there are no essential benefits, and no limitations on either waiting periods or annual caps. Therefore, it is vital to shop around for a plan that truly meets your needs.
There are three types of dental care: preventive (preventing future problems), basic (saving a tooth), and major (restoring a tooth). Preventive care is typically covered at 80 to 100% right away. Basic care and major care, though, may have waiting periods of a year or more, and may be covered at 50 percent or less.
Braces and dental implants may be treated as major care, may have their own waiting periods and coverage limits, or may be excluded altogether. If anyone in your family is likely to need these services, you must read the fine print.
In addition, dental insurers have annual caps, or the maximum amount they will pay in a year. A typical annual cap hovers at around $1000 to $1500 per person, though plans with higher premiums may pay as much as $3500 per person per year.
Find out the type of plan, such as an HMO or PPO, as this will affect which dentists you can choose. Also determine whether the plan pays the dentist directly, or whether you must pay and then file for reimbursement. Finally, check for limits on how often you can have various procedures repeated, even if your dentist wants you to have them more frequently.
Dental insurance can be worth the money, but you must shop carefully. Fortunately, prices on the open market are only slightly higher than those available for employer-sponsored plans, so you can shop for something that meets your needs rather than accepting whatever is offered.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.