Let’s face it: Some dental plans aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, and they certainly aren’t worth the money you are shelling out every month for coverage. Now, if your employer is picking up the tab, there isn’t much you can do. But because employers are increasingly turning to cutbacks in benefits such as dental insurance, an increasing number of people are just getting their own.
The reason that so many are joining dental networks, and getting their own dental insurance, is because it is actually a cheaper option than using the coverage provided by their employer. After all, if your dental insurance doesn’t cover preventative procedures and won’t pay for a root canal, what exactly is the point? Add insult to injury by being asked to pay a yearly deductible of a couple hundred bucks, with maximum annual benefits being capped at five hundred, and it’s no wonder that people are seeking real dental insurance with real benefits.
So what am I looking for in dental insurance?
Honestly, the same benefits-to-cost ratio that you look for in any insurance. You should save 40-60% by using dental insurance over what you would pay if you did not have coverage. If this is not the case, then the dental insurance is all but worthless.
Great answer, but specifically, what am I looking for?
Specifically, you want to know what the maximum coverage is for the calendar year. A plan with a five hundred dollar cap may work for individuals, but it will definitely be inadequate for families. Add up your anticipated costs during the course of an average year, and make sure that it is below or close to the maximum payout for the dental insurance.
You also want to know what will be covered. A growing number of dental insurance plans are refusing to cover preventative maintenance, or cover things like root canals or even x-rays! I mean, what is the point? Plus, if you have children, make sure that braces are not considered “cosmetic” dentistry, as this too is worthless to you. Dental insurance that fails to actually provide adequate care should be avoided like the plague.
Getting to choose their own dentist is important for many people, so see if there are any provider restrictions in your dental insurance. Dental networks are usually a good choice for people picking up the tab for their own dental insurance, as they at least offer a list of providers from which to choose.
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