Dental Insurance is one of the most important coverages which often gets overlooked. You may not even think about this until you get into a number of teeth related problems, for example – broken tooth in an accident, cavity, surgery, or any other gum related problem, which in most cases occurs after a certain age. Dental insurance could generally part of regular health cover or in some cases bought separately to cater to specific dental issues.
Types of Dental Insurance
There could be 2 ways how dental coverage is provided-
- Managed Care
The major difference between managed care (where the cover is provided with in-network providers) vs. indemnity (coverage provided with out-of-network providers) is how the service is availed and how a dentist is chosen. That means if you go to a provider/dentist who is “in-network” then you will be charged as per rates pre-decided between your insurance and dentist. In this case, the dentist is going to take care of paperwork and other processes related to insurance and you will not have to deal with any transaction. While, in case of indemnity, you will have to pay to the dentist yourself and then will need to do all the paperwork with the insurance company or you’ll need to reach to them to get the amount reimbursed.
Cost of dental insurance
Cost of premiums may vary from 20$ to 60$ per month based on the coverage selected by you. It may also have some provisions for 100% coverage or 20% copay like other health insurance covers.
What is covered and what is not
Generally, most of the commonly required dental services are always covered. This includes dental X-Rays & checkups, cleaning, fillings. Also, most of the covers include fixing the tooth damaged by an accident. Also, root canal or any other surgical processes should also be covered. Crowns, dental implants are generally not covered or could be capped till a certain limit. Since crowns could be of different types and they could vary a lot if cost as well, so basic coverage may only be provided. Also, any cosmetic work like teeth whitening is not covered by insurance. As per the insurance policy purchased, there could be some copay that you may need to pay from your pocket.
Do you need a dental cover?
This generally depends on your overall dental health. If you’ve been seeing issues in your overall dental health, then it is better that you are protected. It also depends on the country you are living in, for example – in a country like USA dental expenses are very high while in Asian countries like India these are generally low. Also, if you are already provided insurance by your employer then it’s possible that some dental coverage in the group cover itself. So, in reality, there is no thumb rule here and you’ll need to decide on considering various factors applying to your case.
Also, you’ll need to consider the cost of the services in your area. In general, services required could be X-Rays, cleaning, regular dental checkups, surgery, fillings, dental implants, crown etc. While making the decision, your requirement out of the services mentioned above will also make a critical deciding factor.
As with any other insurance type, dental insurance also comes in handy in your tough times. In this age, when the cost of any dental work is going up exponentially, you need to be sure that you are properly protected against any medical condition in front of you. Also, when you buy any health coverage, ensure that you understand all the fingerprints of the policy especially what is covered and what is not or % cover and how much do you need to pay from your pocket.