How to Shop for Dental Insurance

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Shopping for dental insurance can be a little trickier than selecting medical insurance because there are a few more things to consider. Generally speaking, medical coverage is comprehensive, meaning that if you have a cold, a broken bone or require surgery, everything or nearly everything is covered. When it comes to dental insurance, there are maximum coverages to consider, deductibles, and deciding on a plan that provides you adequate coverage for your needs. As you begin to shop around, there are a few things to keep in mind before making a selection.

The Monthly Premium Is Important

The monthly premium is one of the most important things to consider when you shop around. You want something affordable, but not too affordable. The cheapest plan may look the best on paper but can leave you hanging when it comes to actual benefits and coverage. Most dental insurance is partial coverage, meaning it covers the basics like cleanings and X-rays, but you will have to pay a portion for root canals, fillings, and other work. Make sure you’re paying an adequate monthly premium for the services that you’ll be getting.

Is Your Dentist Covered?

There are few things worse than having a dentist that’s out of your insurance’s network. You may be able to get dental work insurance covered after jumping through a lot of hoops, but it’s not worth the hassle. Ensure that your dentist is not only in the insurance’s network, but also fully participates in the plan. It’s also a good idea to find out what the actual cost is for seeing a dentist out-of-network, should you or a family member ever have an emergency.

Is There A Maximum Benefit?

Many dental insurance plans have a maximum benefit each year, even those that claim “full coverage.” If you anticipate a lot of dental work or have a young family with children that may need work, it’s best to choose a plan with a higher maximum benefit. This may cost in terms of a monthly premium, but will be worth it in the long run.

The Bottom Line

It’s a good idea to always read the fine print when shopping for dental insurance. The most important things to look for include a reasonable monthly premium, a high maximum benefit (or no ceiling) and the assurance that your dentist is in-network. Also, ensure that any procedures you are considering are covered. Don’t settle on a dental plan until you find one that completely meets your needs.

*This post is brought to you and contributed by Stevie Clapton.*

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