How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?
Dental insurance works in the same way that health insurance works. There will be a deductible, co-pay and certain exclusions. However, dental insurance is usually not covered under most health insurance plans and needs to be purchased separately.
How much is it?
- On average, dental insurance is going to cost anywhere from $200 to as much as $450 per person per year.
- To get an exact quote for you or your family, consider using eHealthInsurance.com. Here, you can get a variety of policy prices from dental plan carriers in your area.
- According to the NADP in 2011, the average premium is $234 to $432.
- This BankRate.com article claims that the average person pays $360 per year for their policy.
What is going to be included?
- Like a medical policy, a dental insurance plan can either come as an indemnity or managed-care plan. An indemnity plan will offer broader services than a managed-care plan. This type of plan will cover a share of the costs and the insurance carrier will often have to pay up front and receive the reimbursement later. A managed-care plan will participate in a certain network and agree to cover certain procedures at pre-negotiated rates. These plans tend to have lower out-of-pocket costs and have a larger choice of dentists.
- A very common plan is known as “100-80-50” coverage, meaning that the insurance company will pay 100% for preventative; 80 percent for fillings and root canals; and 50 percent for crowns, bridges and other major procedures. Most plans will have a cap of around $1,500.
- Most dental insurance plans will fully cover two cleanings per year since this is suggested by the American Dental Association. Basic plans are often going to cover x-rays and certain general dental health procedures. Premium plans may cover certain types of oral surgeries, implants, and orthodontia.
- Dental insurance, like health insurance, will either have a co-pay or deductible. A deductible is a certain amount of money that you must pay before the insurance kicks in. This deductible can be anywhere from $500 to $2000. A co-pay refers to a percentage of the total dental bill that you must pay. This can be anywhere from 10% to 30%.
What are the extra costs?
- The more coverage you want to add, the more you are going to have to spend annually. For example, a preventative plan that only covers preventative procedures will be a lot cheaper than an advantage plan that covers all procedures.
Tips to Know:
- Dental insurance will usually cover a certain list of dentists or groups. Make sure that you choose a dentist that is covered by your insurance before you make your appointment. Your insurance company should provide you with a list of covered dentists.
- There are some dental insurance companies that will not cover the cost of dental work if you fail to have your regular cleanings and check-ups.
Questions to ask:
- What is the monthly cost?
- What do I have to do to meet my deductible? If the deductible is met, what the insurer do?
- What dentists are in the network?
- If I use a dentist outside of the plan, what will I have to pay?
- Are there any waiting periods?
- Are there exclusions?
- Does the insurance policy cover orthodontic work? If not, what do I have to do to add this to my policy?
How can I save money?
- Most of the time, dental insurance plans do not make sense. By the time you pay out of your pocket for the procedure, you may actually save money. Before committing, be sure to crunch the numbers to see if it makes sense. Most of the time, the only time you will come out ahead of is you have a procedure you were not expecting such as root canal.
- Consider dental discount plans, such as DentalPlans.com. These plans can cost as little as $75 and provide pre-negotiated rates.
- If you already have a health insurance policy, see what it would cost to add a dental rider. When you combine riders with your initial policy, you can save up to 30-50%.
- Compare at least three to five quotes before committing. Make sure that you ask yourself the questions noted above before signing paperwork.
- The best way to save money is to stay healthy. Schedule your regular cleanings and checkups and have a good daily dental hygiene routine. Being problem free will be the cheapest way to go.