Dental insurance helps you stay on top of your normal routine preventative care. Oral health is a vital part of our overall physical health and mental health. In addition to your normal cleanings, exams, and x-rays; a dental plan helps cover the cost of other dental procedures. It’s easy and important to have a dental plan part of your overall health insurance package.
Is Dental Insurance Worth It?
If you use it, then yes, dental insurance is worth it. The key to dental insurance being worth it is at the very least go to your normal cleaning visits two times a year. Just that alone will make the plan worth it, plus if you need any additional work, you will receive much more benefit from the plan than what it’s costing you each month. It’s important to talk with a dental insurance agent to discuss your options and what’s important to you, to get setup with the best dental plan for you.
How Does Dental Insurance Save Me Money?
Most dental plans will provide 100% coverage for two preventative care visits each year. Based on averages, the total cost of those two visits is often similar to your total annual cost of the dental plan. If you don’t need any other dental work other than going in for your normal routine care, your probably break even for the year as far as cost. The real savings comes when you need other dental procedures, whether they are minor or major. As long as you are in-network, you are getting network discounted rates which can be anywhere from 10% to 50% off the normal price the dentist charges. After the network discount is applied, then your actual coverage starts which can be anywhere from 15% to 90% depending on the service and the plan you have.
PPO vs HMO vs Indemnity
There are a lot of different dental insurance plans offered by a lot of different dental insurance companies. However, all of them fall within three main categories: PPO, HMO, and Indemnity.
A PPO dental plan is often the most recommend. It often has the broadest range of coverages, offers in- and out-of-network coverages, and less limitations. Coverages can still vary from plan to plan and a dental insurance company will often offer multiple plan options at different prices.
HMO dental plans are often at a lower price because the plans tend to be a lot more restrictive. They tend to have a lot of limits built into the policy and have smaller networks of dentists. The plans usually won’t pay any claims that are out-of-network. All of the restrictions reduce the amount the dental insurance company pays, so therefore they can charge less for the policy.
Indemnity dental plans will function more like a reimbursement plan. Even though they can come with a dental network you will probably still need to pay upfront for services at the dentist, whether they are in-network or out-of-network. Then you just submit the claim to the dental insurance company yourself and they send you a check. There are many reasons why this type of policy might be a good fit. If you want more coverage than what a single plan offers, you can purchase an indemnity dental plan in addition to your main plan to get extra coverage.