Dental insurance may drastically reduce the cost of dental care and make routine dental care more affordable for patients. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 37 million people who rely on Medicare for their primary health insurance have no dental coverage. ¹ Due to a lack of coverage, many people go without dental care, which can have a negative impact on their overall health.
Individual dental insurance plans are accessible to anyone who does not have dental care provided by their workplace or medical insurance. Individual dental insurance plans make paying for routine dental care and covering the costs of dental emergencies easier. Dental insurance is also less expensive than many people believe.
The Cost of a Monthly Dental Insurance Premium
It’s understandable if you get stressed when you think about monthly insurance premium rates, given how expensive most medical premium costs are. According to one study2, the average cost of medical insurance premiums for one person is around $450 per month and insuring a family can cost more than $1100 per month.
However, the typical monthly dental insurance price is between $15 and $503, with a family plan costing significantly more. The price will vary based on where you live.
If you’re debating whether or not to acquire dental insurance for your entire family, keep in mind that the average market rate cost of dental care for a child aged seven to twelve is more than $800 per year, according to the American Dental Association.
If you have several small children, it’s easy to understand how dental insurance can help you save money while also guaranteeing that your children receive the dental treatment they require.
Dental insurance will almost certainly cover your children’s dental costs in the event of an emergency, such as if a tooth is injured or knocked out while playing sports or in a schoolyard accident.
In an emergency, more than 40% of households in the United States would struggle to come up with $400. 5. Could you pay for an expensive dental emergency without resorting to high-interest credit cards? You won’t have to if you have family dental insurance. Your child’s emergency dental expenditures may be reimbursed depending on your insurance plan.
Because dental insurance plans have so many variables, premium costs will vary depending on criteria such as the quantity of coverage you want, your deductible, your state, and the treatments you want covering by your insurance.
Consider Your Alternatives.
The majority of dental insurance plans cover a wide range of services. You can choose a plan based on the coverage it provides or the monthly cost, depending on your budget and needs. There are three fundamental types of services in the dental insurance industry: preventive, basic, and major.
Preventive treatments are procedures that are intended to maintain your teeth healthy and robust. Most dental insurance policies cover regular cleanings, fluoride treatments, and other preventive procedures at 100 percent or close to 100 percent.
Routine dental procedures such as tooth extractions, fillings, and root canals are considered basic treatments. They are required operations that can help prevent more serious and difficult-to-treat issues in the future.
Implants, bridges, and emergency care are examples of major procedures that may require numerous treatments to correct an issue.
Dental insurance policies handle all three types of services differently, so you may choose a plan that covers the treatments that are most important to you while also fitting within your budget.
Amount of Coverage
The maximum coverage level on the plan you choose also has an impact on dental insurance expenses. Some dental insurance policies have a yearly maximum benefit amount that must be met. You are usually responsible for any overages if the cost of your services exceeds that maximum cost.
If you want a plan with no cap, expect to pay a larger premium.
When you choose a top-tier dental insurance plan, you will pay a larger monthly premium, but you will likely pay less, if not nothing, out of cash for dental treatment, including some expensive procedures. There is a financial benefit to choosing an insurance plan that covers more operations or a greater number of treatments if you can afford to pay a higher premium.
A Guardian Direct Dental Achiever plan, for example, covers 100% of the cost of cleanings and x-rays and 70% of the cost of filings, subject to exclusions and limitations. A less expensive Guardian Direct Dental Core plan, on the other hand, covers 80% of cleanings and X-rays, as well as 50% of filings.
A dental insurance deductible functions similarly to a car insurance deductible. You are liable for paying for dental care expenditures up to the deductible amount. Once you’ve reached that threshold, your insurance will kick in and begin to cover your expenses.
The deductible is normally the maximum out-of-pocket expenditure you will have to pay for treatment, which is critical in the event of a dental emergency. Selecting a dental insurance plan with a high deductible will help you save money on monthly premiums while also requiring you to spend more out of pocket. Selecting a dental insurance plan with a high deductible can help you save money on monthly charges.
A copay is an amount you pay out of pocket for a dental appointment. The amount of your copay is usually determined by the type of plan you have and the level of coverage you have. Your deductible may be larger if you have a family dental insurance plan or if you have coinsurance.
Is there a difference in cost between in-network and out-of-network providers?
In most dental plans, whether you receive treatment from an in-network dentist plays a significant role in the cost of your dental insurance. If you see an in-network dentist rather than an out-of-network dentist, you will almost always spend less. Dentists in a dental insurance company’s network have agreed to give services to subscribers at discounted prices negotiated by the insurance company.
If you go to a dentist who isn’t in your insurer’s network, you’ll almost always have to pay for the entire treatment out of pocket.
The size of your dental network is usually determined by your insurance company and the type of plan you have. Before you choose a plan, make sure you understand the different forms of dental insurance so you can choose the one that gives you the most alternatives.
Most dental insurance providers make it simple to get a list of local dentists who are part of their network. These are frequently available on corporate websites or in written papers delivered to you by the insurance company once a year.
A PPO dental insurance plan, as opposed to a DHMO, will often allow you access to a bigger network of dentists and is more likely to reimburse you for services provided by an out-of-network dentist. If you reside in a rural location or a small town, you may find it easier to find an in-network dentist if you have a dental PPO insurance plan.
Because the network is bigger, the upfront cost of a PPO insurance plan may be slightly greater than that of a DHMO, but if being able to choose a dentist you feel comfortable with is important to you, the additional cost may be worth it.
A dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) is analogous to a medical health maintenance organization (HMO). You should select a primary care dentist from the DHMO’s network of dentists, which is likely to be smaller than that of a PPO.
DHMOs are popular since they usually have low premiums and no deductible if you see a dentist who is in their network. However, because they are smaller organizations, it may be difficult to find a dentist who is a member of the DHMO’s network, and out-of-network coverage is usually not available.