Like many things in life, dental insurance is not one-size-fits-all. What’s perfect for one family may not work for another. How do you choose the right dental insurance for your family? Check out the article below for all things to consider when choosing family dental insurance.
What is dental insurance?
Dental insurance works differently from health insurance in that it typically covers 100% of preventive care—exams, X-rays, and cleanings if you’re seeing an in-network provider. Premiums are also typically lower and deductibles higher.
The amount you pay monthly on your insurance policy helps cover a portion of the cost of dental procedures, making regular, preventive and any needed restorative care more attainable for those with coverage. With words like copayments, premiums, and deductibles, it’s easy to feel confused by dental insurance details. Our dental term glossary can help explain some of the most common terms associated with dental insurance.
Why dental insurance?
Dental insurance helps you avoid large bills when unexpected dental problems arise. It can also help save you money in the long run by helping you maintain proper oral hygiene with routine cleanings and check-ups.
Things to consider when choosing dental insurance
Choosing a family dental insurance plan is a decision that requires research and consultation with insurance professionals. But not to fear! We’ve put together six things to consider the next time you start browsing plans for you and your loved ones.
First, like any other monthly payment, it’s important to consider the funds you have available to spend on family dental insurance. Come up with an estimate for how much your family usually spends annually on dental costs and determine which plan makes the most sense for your budget and needs. Don’t forget to account for things like premiums, copayments, deductibles, and annual maximums in your analysis.
2. What is (and what is not) covered in the plan
Understanding a plan’s coverage will be critical to helping you choose what is suitable for your family’s needs. Most insurance plans will cover a percentage of cleanings, exams, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, and implants, whereas orthodontic and cosmetic procedures may require a higher-level plan. It’s important to know what is covered under your plan and how deductibles play a part in cost.
3. Your favorite dentist
It’s very possible that you and your family may already have a dentist you know and can rely on. Choosing family dental insurance doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to them. Rather, find out what plans your dentist accepts and consider whether those plans work for your dental insurance needs.
One of the most common mistakes people make when purchasing family dental insurance is waiting until it’s needed to buy it. Although it varies by plan, many insurance policies implement a contractual waiting period. An insurance waiting period is the amount of time (often 6, 12, or 24 months) you must wait before benefits kick in. This detail can come as a surprise if you purchase dental insurance days before a major procedure and learn you must pay fully out of pocket.
5. Employer-sponsored benefits
Before enrolling in an individual plan, ask your employer if dental coverage is part of their benefits package. Employer-sponsored plans allow you to take advantage of dental benefits at a lower cost. However, it’s important to note that employer plans vary, and the coverage you receive as an employee is determined by how much your company is willing to cover.
6. Pediatric dentists
For families, having access to a pediatric dentist is essential. Because pediatric dentists work solely with infants, children, and teens, you can rely on them to be friendly and compassionate while bringing expert knowledge to the table on adolescent care. Browse our Find a Dentist tool and select “Pediatric Dentist” from the specialty drop-down to find a dentist specializing in oral care for children. Ready to find the right plan for your family? Explore our plans and get a personalized quote today!