It’s no secret that oral health has a sizable impact on your well being. If you’ve ever experienced a toothache while attending a conference far from home, or needed a crown repair just when you thought your teeth were in tip top shape, you know that dental care is of primary importance.
However, there’s no need to wait until you’re in pain before you think about oral care. Your health insurance policy likely covers everything from preventative care to major surgeries, but most plans do not include dental coverage. So how do you pick out a dental plan that works best for you and your budget?
Here are five things you should know before you purchase dental insurance.
1. Most Plans Cover Preventative Care
Annual checkups, or six-month checkups can get costly. They typically include a cleaning, a visual inspection from the dentist, and x-rays every year. This means that you may spend upwards of $200 just on a preventative care visit!
Most dental insurance plans cover 100% of the cost. However, some may only cover around 60%. When purchasing your plan, make sure that all preventative care fees are included, as these visits are what ward off future, more costly appointments.
2. Basic Restorative Care Coverage is Critical
Most dental plans will cover 80% of the cost of fillings, extractions, and re-cementing of previous crowns and bridges. You’ll pay the remaining 20%. This potentially means huge savings in your pocket, as a $400 filling may only cost you $80!
Keep in mind, though, that most dental plans will only cover amalgam (silver) fillings, not composite (tooth-colored) fillings. So if you want to avoid metal fillings, there may be additional costs.
3. Major Restorative Services are Likely Covered
Crowns, bridges, implants, and root canals are typically covered at a rate of 50%. Although it may seem like you’re still paying a lot, in reality, you likely won’t need these services often. However, when you do, you’ll be glad to only pay half of what you would without insurance!
A root canal with a crown can cost upwards of $2,000. You’re already in pain from the tooth. Avoid adding any extra pain to your wallet, too. Dental insurance will knock your bill down to $1,000.
4. Corrective Services Aren’t Typically Included
If you need braces or other orthodontia, you’ll want to consider buying a rider policy (unless the plan you are considering provides coverage). These are usually just a few dollars more per month, and typically cover 50% of the cost of your service.
5. Dental Plans Have Waiting Periods
Although dental plans can save you a whole lot of money, you don’t want to save up all your dental work for the first month you purchase a plan.
Typically, preventative care visits are covered immediately, or within 30 days. Basic restorative services may be covered after 3 months, and major restorative services after 6 months. Even then, you’ll want to check how much your policy covers during a calendar year. Some policies may only cover a few services each year.
In addition, most dental plans must remain in effect for at least one year. So, best to nix the idea of getting a dental plan to quickly cover the cost of those 5 crowns you just found out you needed. This is really beneficial to you as the policy holder, as well, since you want to be vigilant about your oral health now and for years to come. Our MetLife Dental Insurance has a 12-month waiting period for bridges, dentures and orthodontia.
Now that you know what to consider when shopping for a new dental plan, are you ready to get started? Call us today and let our experienced advisors at TMA Insurance Trust help you find the right dental plan for you, your family and your medical practice staff.
For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.