Everyone understands the importance of good health insurance. But, should that health insurance include dental insurance coverage? There are many pros and cons to purchasing dental insurance, whether it is from your employer or from an insurance marketplace. Depending on how much dental work is covered may determine whether or not dental insurance is worth it.
What is the Cost of Dental Insurance?
Americans pay, on average, $360 a year for dental insurance. This breaks down to between $15-$50 a month, which varies by state. Many dental plans come with a maximum annual benefit or coverage limit. This typically falls between $1000-$2000. Dental insurance will cut off funding once you have reached your annual limit. The rest will have to be paid out of pocket. This can be problematic for people.
What is Covered With a Monthly Dental Premium?
Most dental plans provide a coverage level consisting of 100/80/50. Different procedures are covered in the following ways. Read more article What Is Pet Insurance Worth It? Tips 6 Best Explanation
- Preventative Care-Exams, cleanings, and X-rays are usually 100% covered in your average dental checkup. Cleanings are recommended twice annually.
- Basic Procedures-These include fillings, extractions, and periodontal work. 70-80% of this is covered.
- Major Procedures-Root canals, crowns, dentures, bridges, or implants are 50% covered or less.
Taking advantage of preventative care can save money in the long run. It will force you to go to the dentist regularly for annual checkups. People who don’t have dental insurance will not visit the dentist often. As a result, their teeth will become damaged and more serious care will be needed down the line.
Types of Dental Plans to Choose From
- An indemnity or fee-for-service plans
- You choose your own dental provider and the plan will pay a percentage of the fees.
- Deductible will be lower than normal plans
- Annual maximum coverage may be higher
- Premiums tend to be higher each month
- Most of the payment will be made upfront
- People who want to see a specific dentist or anticipate a major, costly procedure coming up should take advantage of this plan.
- Preferred Provider Organization Plans
- Pay lower fees to see “preferred” providers
- Insurance pays more than an HMO plan
- Save money when seeing in-network providers
- The maximum amount of money is determined for the year
- Not all procedures are covered
- People who don’t need major dental work right away or want some flexibility in choosing your dental providers should take advantage of this plan.
- Health Maintenance Organization Plans
- Must see a dental provider in the insurance plan
- Preventative services are 100% covered
- Premium payments will be lower
- Major or restorative procedures will be less than 50% covered
The higher you pay in your premiums, the more likely you will have coverage for more extensive work.
Out of Pocket Prices for People Without Insurance
These costs can vary based on where you live, but these are the average prices that people will have to pay for dental work done without insurance. Read more article What is Personal Trainer Insurance? 101 Best Spesial for Personal.
- Teeth Cleaning $85
- X-rays 124
- Silver Dental Filling $125
- White Dental Filling $125
- Porcelain Crown $1000
- Front Root Canal $762
- Bicuspid Root Canal $879
- Molar Root Canal $1,111
Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Policy
- What kind of dental procedures am I likely going to need this year?
- How much would it cost out of pocket versus monthly premiums?
- What would my monthly premiums look like?
- How much would I pay for regular cleaning with insurance? Without?
- What is the maximum annual payout for the insurance policy?
How to Save Money Without Insurance
There are a few alternatives that people can take advantage of if they do not want to pay for dental insurance. Read more article What is Travel Medical Insurance ? 5 Best Special for Travel.
- Visit a Dental School-This will be a visit with students under the supervision of trained dentists. The cost of appointments will be low.
- Visit a Dental Clinic-Some of these types of clinics will offer a sliding scale fee based on income. Some exams may even be free. Getting an appointment can be tough as dental clinics are in high demand
- Discounted Dental Plan-There are plans available that will give you the security of coverage without all the cost. People will pay an annual fee and will receive discounts when it comes to different procedures.
In the end, deciding on paying for dental insurance will vary based on your particular situation. Knowing that you will need extensive procedures would make having insurance worth it. You will still have to pay out of pocket, but it will not be as much. Dental insurance always offers a safety net for people who may have a dental emergency.