This is a collaborative post by James with tips on choosing family dental insurance.
A few months ago, a female vlogger posted a video about how expensive dental procedures are in the US. As she was not the resident of the US, she had to pay the expenses all by herself and the expense was so high that she opted not to do it in the US and decided to do the same procedure somewhere else.
As you already know, healthcare in the US is expensive. Many companies offer insurance coverage for the residents of the US. However, due to the high premium charged for health insurance, many insurance companies offer individual insurances that cover different health issues like dental insurance.
Dental insurance by the name is evident that it covers dental related issues like x-rays and cleaning, crowns, root canals, and gum diseases. However, if you are going for orthodontia (for a layman it is a treatment in which dentist aligns the teeth and gums) or any cosmetic surgery, it is not covered by any insurance in general. Dental insurance pays like 80% to 100% of the bill after the deductible.
According to a survey conducted by consumer reports, many people delay their procedures because they maxed out the coverage allowed for a year. The reason is that most of the insurance companies cover only $1,000 to $1,500 for a year. And remember about the vlogger at the start. She had to pay $1,000/- for a root canal in the US. So how can an ordinary person get secure dental coverage?
Well, today, this blog will provide you with some tips, and the benefits you will receive by implementing those tips when you are going to purchase a dental insurance plan for you and your family. So stick with me.
Tips and Benefits of Dental Insurance
Because your dental insurance will give you $1,000/- to $1,500/- for a year in general, but you have to see other things as well so that you do not run out of coverage when you need it. Even though it does not cost much as a monthly premium, but a person feels bad when it cannot utilize it when he needed it the most. So here are some tips and the benefits you will receive:
Tip # 1: Look for group coverage.
When you are under sponsored insurance coverage through an employer, you have group coverage. It costs less and covers many things. However, your employer may not offer dental insurance. Look for a group coverage program like AARP, Affordable Care Act marketplace healthcare insurance policies or even some public programs like Tricare for military and many more.
The real benefit of these programs is that they do not hurt your cash flow like individual cash flow. They also cover many aspects of your dental care too. However, you have to read the policy and document every program to make an informed decision.
Tip # 2: Look for individual coverage.
You might feel confused as the above tip stated the opposite. But everything has a catch. What happens if you need to have something done quickly and the insurance plan which you have does not either cover or takes time to cover your request. What are you going to do? Now you have a plan called “just in time”. You can go for it. But wait. This also has a catch.
Many companies know the back game of this and hence takes time to process this plan too. So if you need to get your procedure covered then go on the company website and to get the policy quotation and details and talk to an insurance agent. Remember read the policy very carefully to make an informed decision.
Tip # 3: Skim the list of dentists.
There is also a pact between insurance companies and dentists. The dentist wants to get more customers, and for this, they get affiliated with an insurance company. This action forces a policy buyer to get his or her treatment done by the dentist who is covered by the insurance plan.
But many people do not want to go to be limited to dentists on their plan. He can be a family dentist. Therefore, it’s important to ask your preferred dentist which insurance plan they are covered or ask the insurance company for the coverage of your dentist. Then, you can get the treatment from your preferred dentist and not pay a premium.
Tip # 4: Know what the policy covers.
This tip is the most important one. You have to read all the policy documents and understand what it covers, how much does it cover and the most important part when it will cover that dental process. For example, An AARP policy covers many things like your gum cleaning, denture repairs, restoration and oral surgery, including root canals. But you know the sad part? You have to start into the second year of the plan to get your gum-disease to get covered with it, and you can have your crowning.
Also, every insurance covers only 50% of your cost mostly. Which means you have to pay from your pocket. So when you are going to sign up for an insurance plan, you have to read all the documents very carefully because this might happen with you that the same company covers you and your friend, but he is paying way less and having a good coverage while you are paying way more with fewer services. So read the policy document very carefully.
Whenever a medical incident happens in the US, they always ask this question: “Do you have insurance?” because the cost of medical services is so high. Hence people go for insurance plans so that they are covered and do not have to pay huge amounts. But there is a catch in this. Not every plan is good for you. When you are going for dental insurance, you have to look at the options. Consider applying for group coverage for yourself or with your family. Or you can opt for an individual plan for everyone in the house. Also, look at which doctor is covered and is he worth getting treatment from for you and your family but in the end always read the policy very carefully because no one wants to pay more for the same service someone else is paying less.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.