Dental Insurance FAQs
A: A discount dental plan is an alternative to a traditional dental insurance plan. A discount plan generally requires a yearly membership fee. Once you are a member of the discount plan, you have access to a large list of providers that offer their services at a reduced cost. Discount plans may offer lower prices on cosmetic procedures, most of which are not covered in traditional dental insurance plans. Unlike some traditional insurance plans, discount plans do not screen applicants or have health restrictions, so the discount plan is available to a wider range of people.
A: You should consider purchasing supplemental insurance if the cost of the procedure you think you will have done is greater than the monthly cost of the supplemental insurance. For example, expensive cosmetic procedures are generally not covered under traditional dental plans, so you could consider purchasing supplemental insurance to cover the insurance gap. Supplemental insurance can be expensive, and you should contact your dentist’s office and your insurance company first to see if you can use two insurance policies to cover one procedure.
A: Whether a cosmetic procedure is covered or not varies from policy to policy. In general, insurance companies do not cover purely cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening. They may cover a percentage of a procedure that does have to do with the structural health of your teeth, such as inserting crowns. Even then, sometimes only a certain percentage of a procedure is covered. You should look into discount dental plans and supplemental insurance if you plan on getting an expensive procedure done that an insurance company would not cover or would cover only a small percentage.
A: Direct reimbursement plans reimburse insured individuals a certain percentage of a dental procedure regardless of the treatment. Reimbursement plans generally allow an insured individual to more options in choosing a procedure. Insured individuals usually can choose their own dentist. A direct reimbursement plan can offer an insured individual more freedom in choosing a procedure and a dentist than a regular dental insurance company.
Q: Do dental insurance plans cover orthodontic care?
A: It really depends on the plan itself. Basic dental insurance does not cover orthodontic care, whether the orthodontic care is for cosmetic purposes or for more structural problems. However, with the rising cost of braces, insurance companies generally offer additional coverage for braces. But before you add orthodontic care to your dental plan, you should determine if the extra premium is worth the price: orthodontic care can range in price from $3,000 to $7,000 depending on where you live. On the other hand, some plans will pay for a percentage of orthodontic care.