Purchasing the right dental coverage can seem especially intimidating, particularly in the middle of a health emergency, such as an inflamed tooth or other painful circumstance. Choosing the best coverage ahead of time can save you money while bringing you peace-of-mind and comfort, especially in the midst of a toothache. To make the most affordable and satisfying choice for you and your family, there are some important guidelines to be aware of when looking for dental insurance.
Decisions and Comparisons
After visiting a dental professional’s office regularly over a period of time, many people often become comfortable with the dentist that routinely cares for their teeth. However, similar to general health plans, some policies only cover certain practitioners. Patients can decide, if their primary dentist falls outside of the scope of their desired plan’s network of service providers, to shop further for a plan that includes their dentist, or select a different, though potentially more costly, plan.
Costs and Coverage
Many plans offer patients low-to-no-cost preventative procedures, such as cleanings, diagnostic x-rays, and fluoride treatments. It is important to compare specific coverage options, as some plans may charge for these, but it is also a good idea to compare the cost of other procedures, in the event of accidental tooth damage or the effects of everyday wear and tear on teeth and gums. Root canals, extractions, and routine fillings all vary in cost depending on the plan that you choose.
Hidden Savings: Dental Discount Cards
Often overlooked, though providing similar benefits to some low-to-mid tier insurance plans, another option for consumers is obtaining a dental discount card. These cards typically offer a reduced percentage off of the cost of common procedures, providing that your dentist is included in the participating network. Talk with your dentist office’s billing staff to review whether they are currently accepting new patients before acquiring a card, in order to ensure that the dentist that you are most comfortable with is participating in the network that you are considering. Keep in mind that some cards charge an enrollment fee, and in comparison with dental insurance plans, could potentially not save you as much money as you had anticipated, so be sure to compare benefits, costs, and shortfalls of individual plans to avoid unforeseen expenditures in the future.
Exclusions and Limitations
Another important area when purchasing dental insurance, many policies have set limitations that surprise patients when it comes time to pay for a procedure, so it is again important to compare plans, including any coverage gaps and distinctions they may yield.
Often times, cosmetic and elective procedures are negligibly covered in most dental plans, and in many cases, not at all. If you are planning on getting an elective procedure, be sure to compare plans that contain reasonable coverage choices for your circumstance. Also, ask if the procedure you plan to have, whether routine or elective, will require additional prerequisite procedures, and if they are covered under your insurance plan.
Securing the Care That Matters
Patients looking for affordable care while maintaining a great smile are presented with an array of options when looking for dental insurance. While navigating the complexities and fine-print can seem like a chore, gaining savings and enjoying the benefits of good oral hygiene can be worth the extra research when choosing the plan that is right for you.
If you have more questions about procuring dental insurance, give our office a call Monday through Friday from 8AM- 5PM at 504-347-1014.