Getting dental insurance can be complex and hard to understand. We break it down for you, and make it easy!
What Is The Best Dental Insurance?
There is no “best” dental insurance – different people have different needs. One family may well need orthodontic coverage for their teen’s braces or retainer, while another individual may only need basic coverage.
Check with your dentist if you have one, and ask what sort of coverage they recommend. If you do not have a regular dentist, schedule a checkup and appointment, and then ask after your checkup.
Where Do I Find A Dentist?
There are plenty of online and offline tools to find a dentist. A quick Google search will turn up the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any dentists in your immediate area. Social media can also be a source for locating a dentist, and like Google, also includes reviews from previous customers.
How Do I Buy Dental Insurance?
Ideally, your employer offers dental coverage as part of a group health insurance plan. If you are self employed, it might be worth checking with any group or association to see if they offer group coverage, as well.
There are limited options available for dental plans on the ACA marketplace, though these usually require an ACA plan to purchase (and are subject to the same open enrollment period).
Some people between jobs purchase Short Term Medical Insurance and many of these plan options also include dental insurance.
Does Dental Insurance Have An Open Enrollment Period?
As stated above, only for ACA marketplace plans. You can otherwise purchase dental insurance at any time.
Different Types of Dental Plans
There are two main types of dental plan: DPPO and DHMO.
A DPPO stands for Dental Participating Provider Network. DPPO’s are widely accepted. You’ll save more with in-network dentists, but you can go out-of-network if you choose. Most DPPO plans don’t require referrals to see a specialist. There is an annual deductible of $50-$100, and the usual yearly maximum coverage limit is $1000- $1500. If you reach your spending limit, you’ll need to pay for your care out of pocket for the rest of the year. DPPO plans have waiting periods before coverage for all basic and major dental procedures. Typically the waiting period is around 6-12 months, but in some cases up to two years.
DHMO is short for Dental Health Maintenance Organization. DHMO plans tend to be less expensive but less flexible than DPPOs. With a DHMO, you don’t have an annual maximum spending limit, and you’re covered for dental care right away. You must see an in-network dentist who will be your primary provider (and it can be hard to switch dentists), you’ll need a referral to see a specialist, and there may be limits on when and how often you can get treatments.
What About No Waiting Period Dental Insurance?
Some dental insurance plans require you wait to utilize the benefits. A common waiting period may be 90 or 180 days. Sometime waiting periods on major dental work can be 1 year. Some dental insurance policies have reduced or no waiting periods provide higher benefits the longer you have owner the plan. Many of these plans offer dental insurance with no waiting periods at all. Though the waiting period may be no existent, this does not mean the pays for services in full. However, No Waiting Period Dental Insurance specializes in plans with low or no waiting periods, so that is a good resource for shoppers in need.
How Do I Get Senior Dental Insurance?
Picking the Medicare plan that’s right for you can be frustrating as is, but don’t forget your dental health! There are several options available for seniors dental insurance.
Is Dental Covered Under Original Medicare?
Unfortunately original Medicare (Parts A & Part B) does not cover dental insurance. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have options, however:
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)
A Medicare Advantage plan may include some dental benefits, such as routine maintenance (in addition to vision and prescription drug coverage). These networks are extremely small and benefits very limited. Many people find this benefit difficult to utilize because they dentist will not accept the plan.
Medigap (Medicare Supplement Plan)
A Medicare Supplement insurance does not offer dental. Medicare Supplement cannot be used to help offset the cost of dental care. Medicare Parts A & B are required to obtain a Medicare Supplement Plan. After Medicare pays its share of a bill, the Medigap or the Medicare Supplement plan will kick in. Be mindful that dental is not covered.
Stand Alone Dental Plan to Add to a Medicare Supplement
Many Medicare insurance companies will offer their standard dental insurance plan to be purchased as a stand alone package. In most cases this provides the same coverage if you have the Medicare Supplement or not. Some examples of these plans are Aetna Dental, Vision Hearing, Cigna PPO Dental, Get Humana Dental, Mutual of Omaha Dental, Ameritas, UnitedHealthcare Dental, and Central United Life.
Spouse Coverage Options
In some cases, you can get covered under your spouse’s coverage – this would provide you with the same coverage he or she has on their plan.