It’s no secret that going to the dentist is expensive these days, which makes many people look into purchasing dental insurance. If you are thinking about buying a dental insurance plan, here are some things you should consider.
Many dental plans operate with a specific network of dentists. This means you have to use a dentist who is part of the network in order to get the full benefit of the plan. Some plans are even more restrictive and will not pay anything unless you use a dentist who is part of their network. Before buying a plan, determine if you are limited to a set network of dentists and check to see that there are plenty of participating dentists in your area. If you already have a relationship with a dentist and do not want to change, check to make sure he or she is participating with the plan you are considering.
Most plans will have a yearly maximum benefit, generally between $1,000 and $2,000. This represents the total amount they will pay for the entire year. If your dental costs exceed the plans maximum amount, you will be responsible for the difference. When comparing plans, take into consideration the premium amounts you will be paying compared with the total amount of coverage you will be getting.
Many plans have specified waiting periods for certain procedures. For example, a plan may cover simple work right away, but require you to wait 6 or 12 months before they will cover any major work. Before you decide on a plan, make sure you find out if there is a waiting period and if so, what types of procedures it applies to.
Almost all dental plans break down procedures into preventive, basic, or major classifications. When looking at a dental plan, make sure you understand how they classify certain procedures and how those are covered by the plan. If you need major work, such as a crown or bridge, check with the plan description to understand if that is covered and at what percentage. This will help keep you from being surprised later on with a hefty dentist bill.