Tips for Choosing Dental Insurance

DentistDental insurance can come in handy, especially for those with big families. Case in point: Traditional metal braces can run you anywhere between $1,500 to $8,500 with insurance. Without it? You could be paying anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $10,000, depending on the severity of the bite and the problems that need to be fixed. However, not all employers offer dental insurance as part of their health plan. That’s why it’s important to check with your employer; if they don’t, talk to your local dentist or go online to find out your options.

Dental Insurance Coverage

Dental insurance, like medical insurance, typically won’t cover the entire cost of every procedure. Instead you’ll find that a portion of most dental procedures are covered. Dental insurance is often paid by your employer while you make monthly contributions to the plan. You will need to read and compare insurance policies to learn what is and isn’t covered. You’ll also need to check with your dentist to find out what types of insurance they take. But don’t assume that your dentist will offer a payment plan or special financing. That’s why it’s vitally important to check first to see what dentists and procedures are covered under your plan. For example, braces may be covered for one child 18 or younger, but you may have to foot the bill for other children or adults.

Dental Discounts

Some dental insurance is actually considered a dental discount. Dentists that participate in the program provide dental procedures at discounted rates. You’ll be able to view a list of the most common types of dental procedures along with the standard cost per treatment. You’ll need to provide the remainder of the payment directly to the dentist. Keep in mind that payment is typically due at the time of service unless special finance options are agreed upon ahead of time. Remember that you’ll be paying annually for this service, whether you end up using it or not. However, the price is usually low.

Supplemental Insurance

Some people need to get supplemental dental insurance. This insurance helps you pay for the portion of dental work that isn’t covered by your regular insurance policy. Dental insurance often covers only a portion of the work. For example, some procedures are covered up to 80 percent, while others may only be covered up to 50 percent. Also, it’s important to be aware of different choices when it comes to dental treatment. Some treatments that are considered cosmetic may not be covered as much, or at all. Supplemental insurance is usually paid monthly, annually, or semi-annually.

Finance Options

Many dentists now offer financing on some of the more expensive dental procedures. Financing is a good way to get the work done and be able to make small monthly payments. You’ll typically need to make a down payment, which may be a percentage of the total bill. Then, the dentist will find a finance company to provide a loan for the remaining amount. Like any loan, it comes with terms and you’ll be paying an annual finance charge.

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