Dental Insurance Questions

Continuing your Dental Coverage

What happens to my dental insurance coverage if I move to another job?
If your new employer is not going to provide dental insurance as part of your benefits package you will be looking at significantly higher premiums for individual dental insurance coverage. Your best bet? Be sure to 'carry forward' your dental insurance from your previous job for the full allotted time.

You are allowed to carry forward your dental insurance (just like your medical insurance) for 18 months to 36 months depending on your relationship to the insured and the reason for leaving the position. As long as you haven't been dismissed due to gross negligence, you should be able to continue with your dental insurance coverage. While you will be responsible for the full dental insurance premium, group rates are significantly less than individual rates. It's well worth it.

Once the time period is up you will have to have individual dental insurance coverage in place. But at least you'll have had a price break for a reasonable amount of time. Just remember that you have some forms to fill in! You can get them from your, or your family member's, previous employer's benefits department. You need to fill the dental insurance forms out within 60 days of leaving. If you don't, you can be denied the dental insurance coverage - and your more expensive individual dental insurance coverage will have to start right away.

What happens to my dental insurance if I become unemployed?
This is a tough situation.

In many states, unless you have been dismissed for gross negligence you will be able to carry your dental insurance and medical insurance for between 18 to 36 months, depending on your relationship to the previously insured person. This has been legislated under the Congressional Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA. Definitely, carrying your dental insurance benefits and medical insurance benefits forward is in your best interest.

While it can be difficult to find the money for dental insurance premiums you will now have to pay the full premium for your insurance. You've lost the employer contribution when you lost your job. However, the premium on group dental insurance is much lower than individual insurance - so you will benefit by maintaining your group dental insurance coverage.

If you are going to maintain your dental insurance benefits under COBRA, you must fill out the appropriate paper work within 60 days of leaving your job. Otherwise, you may be denied dental coverage and you'll be looking at the higher individual premiums sooner.

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