Questions about Dental Insurance

What to Ask about Managed Care

How do I choose a dental insurance policy?
This is a big question. If you are shopping for dental insurance on your own you will have a wide range of factors to consider. Even if your employer provides you with dental insurance you may have multiple dental plans to choose from. How do you decide what's right for you?

The most important thing is to ask yourself the right questions to ensure your dental insurance is adequate:

Can I afford this dental insurance?
The bottom line is the amount of the dental insurance premium. If the dental insurance premium is more than you can afford, but you are still interested, perhaps you can tailor the dental plan to fit you. Are there options to insure only large dental procedures? In some cases you can get a 'discount' dental insurance? If your family is in good health you could gamble that a discount dental plan is all you need.

Dental insurance through an employer is an ideal scenario. Group dental insurance provided through an employer is generally much cheaper.

What am I expected to pay for dental insurance?
It's not just about the dental insurance premiums you pay. It's also about the costs which you have to cover. What is the deductible? What percentage of the dental procedure (minus deductible) will I be reimbursed? Does the dental insurance plan only pay for the least expensive alternative treatment (known as LEAT coverage)? To what extent are preventative services covered by dental insurance? What happens in an emergency? What type of routine care is covered by dental insurance? These are also important considerations especially if you or your family members are frequent users of health care services.

Does this dental insurance plan cover the services I (or my family) use?
Not all dental insurance plans cover preventative dentistry. If you'd rather take action before you have to get that root canal, check your coverage.

Dental insurance plans may also restrict your ability to change Dentists, see Dentists outside of the plan or get access to dental specialists. If you are limited to a Dental Specialist from a particular list you must be comfortable with that? Read the fine print on your dental insurance policy.

Will the dental insurance plan provide for regular dental exams and cleanings which are frequent enough for the care of your teeth? What about x-rays? Does this dental insurance plan cover crowns, braces, root canals, oral surgeries and treatment of periodon'tal disease? If you have any pre-existing dental conditions is there any exclusion period?

Is this a dental insurance plan I can live with?
It's up to you to do some research. Dental insurance is important to you and your family day in and day out. It may be costly or inconvenient to change dental insurance plans. So, check everything out.

You want a dental insurance company that's stable. It's not in your best interest to find out that you need a major dental procedure and then find out that your dental insurance company is insolvent. Many online dental insurance websites will provide both quotes and ratings of dental insurance companies. It's worth spending a few minutes. You are under no obligation to accept a quote and the information you gain in the process will be invaluable.

You also want a dental insurance plan that you can live with. Check with neighbors, family members and friends. Who are they insured with? What kind of dental insurance plan do they have? Are they happy with it?

You particularly want a dental insurance company who treats clients fairly when they are making a claim. With dental insurance you could be making claims on a fairly regular basis; depending on your deductible and the type of plan. You'll be happier if you have a dental insurance company who deals promptly and courteously with claims.

Check with your Dentist. Which dental insurance plans do they participate in (if any)? Dentists likely deal with various dental insurance plans all the time. Ask them what their experience has been with any particular dental insurance plan or dental insurance company. You may find out that they are not covered under the dental insurance plan you are considering - and they may be able to recommend another plan under which they would be covered.

Don't forget to check out the how do I choose a dental insurance policy, dental insurance - fee for service, dental insurance - managed care, group dental insurance and individual dental insurance and dental insurance plan questions pages and click the links above to get started comparing dental insurance plans.

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