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Published: Dec 16, 2021, 10:02am
Oral health is essential to your overall well-being. The mouth is considered the gateway to the body and, as a consequence, poor oral health has been linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The cost of dental care can be high, but dental insurance aids in offsetting some of those expenses.
While the benefits and costs of dental insurance plans can vary significantly, there are coverage options for every budget. Keep reading to discover the types of dental insurance available, as well as the costs and benefits associated with coverage.
Dental insurance, which is separate from your primary health insurance, provides coverage to help protect you from the high costs of dental care. Dental insurance may be offered to you as an employment benefit, or you can buy a plan from a health insurance company. Approximately 64% of the U.S. population have dental insurance.
Most dental plans work similarly, according to Cigna.
Most full coverage dental insurance plans use the 100/80/50 cost-sharing model.
Some plans also cover a portion of orthodontic appliances, such as braces and retainers. Choose the plan that offers the best coverage for you and your family’s current and future dental needs.
Dental insurance doesn’t typically cover cosmetic dental services, which are considered not medically necessary. These procedures include any dental procedure that is done for aesthetic reasons, such as teeth whitening or non-essential veneer placement, and they could leave you with a significant out-of-pocket expense.
There are many different types of dental insurance plans, each with different benefits and out-of-pocket costs. Some offer a large network of dentists for a higher monthly premium while others have a lower monthly premium but require more out-of-pocket expenses for certain procedures.
The three most common types of dental insurance plans include:
If your employer offers a dental insurance plan, it’s likely your most cost-effective option. Most employer-based dental insurance plans are deeply discounted depending on the size of the organization and the number of employees enrolled in the plan.
If you purchase private dental insurance, premiums vary by provider, plan type and coverage levels. While most pay between $20 and $60 a month for a basic dental plan, this amount can be more or less depending on your location and the insurance company plan that you choose.
Here are some examples of plan providers and their premiums by location:
You also need to consider copays, deductibles and annual maximum allowances in the total cost of dental insurance.
“Dental insurance is the third-ranked must-have benefit among employees, just after medical insurance and a 401(k),” says David Guarrera, M.D., vice president and chief dental officer at MetLife. “Employees are 10% more likely to say dental is a must-have than they were in 2018, and one in 10 employees say they have needed to undergo a major dental procedure in the past 12 months,” he adds.
Here are the average costs of dental services without dental insurance.
Tamrah Harris is a registered nurse and certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. She is the founder and CEO of Harris Health and Wellness Communications. She has over 25 years of experience in healthcare with a passion for health education and wellness.
Jessica Lester is a writer, editor and media professional who has spent her career working with some of the most influential names in media. Prior to her time with Forbes, Jessica was the manager of creative communications at Hearst, where she specialized in high-level production and project management. As a freelance writer, Jessica has written across a range of topics, including entertainment, travel and career. Her work can be found in Variety, Paste Magazine, The Muse and on her personal website (jessicamlester.com).