When it comes to choosing the right dental insurance for you and your family, you have more to consider than just price. Of course, price is always going to be one of the deciding factors in comparing dental insurance quotes, but you also have to make sure that you are choosing a plan that will suit your needs and provide the services you require. Dental insurance works a little differently than medical insurance. Before deciding on an insurance plan, it’s important that you have an understanding of what dental insurance can offer you and what it cannot.
Dental insurance comes in two forms: PPO and DHMO. The structure of these forms of dental insurance mirror most of the features of their medical insurance counterparts. PPO dental insurance plans provide their clients with a list of preferred dentists to choose from. These dentists have agreed to a negotiated fee schedule with the insurance company. DHMOs function in much the same way as a medical HMO offering managed care at reduced prices. Unfortunately, because dentists get a reduced reimbursement, they are often forced to speed through appointments and focus more on quantity than quality.
When comparing dental insurance quotes, make sure to pay attention to the restrictions in the policy. How extensive is the list of dentists you can choose from? Is your current dentist on the list? It’s also important to note how much control the dentist has over you treatment. Is the dentist forced to treat you as inexpensively as possible if there are alternative treatments? For example, will your dental insurance only cover silver fillings when you would prefer composite?
Another factor that’s important to consider is the level of coverage each of the dental insurance quotes offers. Typically, preventative care including cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride treatments should be covered at 80%-100%. Other services like fillings, root canals, crowns, etc. should provide 50%-80% coverage when you choose an in-network dentist. Most dental insurance plans should have a maximum payout of at least $1000. Check the fine print to make sure the cost of your premiums isn’t going to skyrocket after the first year; this is a common tactic.
Shopping around can help you save money, and you can get multiple dental insurance quotes to compare online. However, it’s important to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable dental insurer to protect yourself from fraud. To determine the authenticity of a dental plan ask questions and do research before you sign up. First, ask for a physical address of the insurer. If they will only give you a post office box, be suspicious. Make sure they are licensed with the state. This is mandatory under the law. Ask the insurer to send you the details of the plan in writing including a list of preferred dentists. Asking you to pay a fee before sending these materials is a red flag. Finally, look up the insurer’s record at the Better Business Bureau to check for complaints.
In most cases, the cost of the premium for dental insurance bought from a reputable insurer will be less than it would cost to pay for the procedures out-of-pocket. Even the worst dental insurance plans are usually cost-effective is you visit the dentist regularly as you should. Remember, many of the quotes you get online are base rate quotes that apply to the average person in your area. You’ll have to fill out an application with your personal information to get an accurate quote.