The idea of having dental insurance may seem like a dream come true. But the reality of private dental insurance can be brutal. From poor insurance coverage to high premiums and deductibles. Here are some brutal truths about private dental insurance.
You need to know these truths before you sign up for your plan. If you’re sick of your current provider. If or feel like you could never get enough care from private dental insurance, it’s time to find another option.
Once you know what to look out for and what questions to ask. It’s easier than ever to find quality care at an affordable price!
Private Dental Insurance The choice is Not Easy
Private dental insurance can be a great idea, but it’s not always right for everyone. Many patients don’t realize how much they have to spend out of pocket. Until they actually get their first invoice.
If you have a high-deductible plan. If and end up with any major work, you could be looking at some pretty significant costs. which is why it pays to do your homework before purchasing private dental insurance.
Here are three tips to help. Start thinking about whether private dental insurance is right for you.
Private Dental Insurance Finding Limited Choices
Private dental insurance isn’t always your best option. In fact, it’s usually a bad idea to sign up for private dental insurance. If you can afford regular checkups and cleanings on your own—and most people can.
Private plans are for people who don’t have health coverage. (Through an employer or a government program like Medicare) but also don’t want to pay out of pocket for dental care. If you do have a health plan, private insurance is usually redundant.
If you can afford $2,000 in preventive dental work every year. And $2,000 in emergency care every five years—to say nothing of routine cleanings. Other common services—you can almost afford $1,500 a year for supplemental coverage.
Private dental insurance plans often cost a lot more than you’d imagine. Between 20% and 50% of your premiums go towards administrative costs. According to one report.
One insurer spends as much as 80% of your premiums on non-medical expenses. That’s one reason why there aren’t many dental insurance companies out there. They can’t make a profit while still giving consumers competitive prices.
That means if you have private dental insurance, you may not be able to find enough dentists who accept it. Also, some insurers need you to see their preferred providers only. Again, limits where you can go for treatment
Now Is the Time to Decide
Before deciding if you want to get private dental insurance, you need to know what’s out there. Dentistry is a technical field, and many procedures need advanced knowledge. Only licensed dentists have.
That means your insurer will only cover in-network procedures and treatments. And that excludes specialists. Depending on where you live, finding a dentist who participates in your plan might be hard. In fact, some insurers don’t offer specialists at all.
And since some plans have higher deductibles than others, deciding which one is right for you isn’t easy. Make sure to research before committing to a contract with an insurance company.
Especially since private dental insurance might not even be right for you in the first place!
Before you buy private dental insurance, take a look at what your employer offers. Many employers offer subsidized dental plans that have low premiums. But high deductibles and copays.
If you’re in good health and are only going to visit a dentist every few years. These could be much cheaper than purchasing an individual plan. Additionally, some employer-provided plans can help pay for fillings, crowns, and bridges.
That may not be private insurance. Besides looking at dental coverage offered through your employer. It’s also important to check with your current dentist. Before deciding on an individual plan or switching from one type of plan to another.
Checklist for Better Coverage
There are many things to consider when you’re researching private dental insurance. So be sure to ask a lot of questions and ask for quotes from several different companies. (By doing your homework first.
You’ll also be able to avoid making a rash decision and enrolling in something that isn’t right for you.) Here is a checklist of items to consider when shopping around: What will my deductible be?
(Most plans have some sort of deductible; if it’s small—say $50 or less—you might want to go with another company or plan.) How long will I have to wait before benefits kick in?
Can I opt out of covering preventive care or basic procedures? How often do claims complete filled forms?
Commitment Over Convenience
When private dental insurance was first created, it was an excellent benefit. The world has changed since then, but. Private dental insurance has morphed into a nice-to-have.
Benefit that people don’t often use because they can pay out of pocket for all their care. As with so many things in life, commitment trumps convenience. One of the best ways to save money.
And avoid long waits is to sign up for a private dental insurance plan and use it. Doing so may seem like a big-time commitment, but you’ll get amazed at how easy it is once you get started.
Think about Who Needs Care
You should look into private dental insurance if you haven’t been to a dentist in at least 2 years. Many insurance companies will cover you for one or two routine cleanings. Before they kick in, regular checkups help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
In fact, it’s important to get preventative care. Because untreated gum disease (pericoronitis) can lead to losing your teeth.
The longer you go without oral care. The greater your risk of having gum disease. And that's where private dental insurance can come in handy.
What if You Delay?
While it’s true that you have to buy private dental insurance. Before you need it, delaying your policy can be a costly mistake. Waiting too long might mean that you find yourself without coverage.
For a major procedure or without coverage at all. You could get priced out of buying private dental insurance altogether if you delay for too long. That’s why it’s important to start planning early.
By learning about options and premiums now, you may be able to avoid unpleasant surprises in a few years.
How Can YOU Save Money?
If you’re going to spend your money on private dental insurance, you want to make sure it’s worth your while. The first thing you should do is look at what each of your options covers. Some plans may sound like a good deal.
But lacking when it comes to specifics (like hygienist visits or crown work). Next, consider what each plan doesn’t cover, or caps their coverage. At—how much can they reimburse you monthly?
Are there specific benefits that are only covered up to a certain amount? Keep in mind that, unlike an HMO or PPO plan, you may not need a copay for every visit.
(Saving a ton of cash over time), most private dental insurance plans need copays even for basic procedures.