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Affordable dental insurance with no waiting period may seem like a lot to ask for. But with HealthMarkets, it isn’t wishful thinking. With hundreds of recognized insurance companies nationwide to choose from, you can get the dental care you need when you need it. 

What Does No Waiting Period Mean in Dental Insurance?woman reviews dental insurance with dentist

With dental insurance, no waiting period means that patients may be able to receive preventive care starting on the first day of their coverage. Why having waiting periods to begin with? Waiting periods prevent people from waiting until they need a major procedure before buying insurance then immediately dropping the plan. 

Many dentist offices will still perform a given procedure during a waiting period. However, you’ll be responsible for 100% of the cost.

How long do waiting periods last? 

Waiting periods typically last anywhere from 6 to 12 months, and the length of the waiting period is often dependent on the type of procedure at stake. Some plans might feature one flat waiting period before any benefits begin. Others might have no waiting period for basic care, a short waiting period for some services, and a longer waiting period for more advanced procedures. 

Other dental insurance plans might stagger their coverage levels. For instance, you might receive 70% coverage for a particular service during the first year, 80% during year two, 90% during year three, and 100% coverage for the same service beginning in the fourth year. This is a way to encourage prevention through regular visits.

Categories of Procedures

Dental insurance providers often break down services into different categories. These categories not only affect cost and coverage rates, but they can also determine how long a waiting period may be. A typical classification system might look something like this:

Class I: Preventive care including routine cleanings every six months, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants. This class may also include diagnostic services like x-rays, space maintainers, and oral evaluations. 

Class II: Basic restorative care such as root canals and fillings. 

Class III: More advanced restorative procedures like crowns, bridges, and dentures.   

Most dental insurance policies operate under a “100-80-50” coverage model. This means that preventive services are covered in full, basic services are covered at 80%, and major procedures are covered at a 50% rate.

Advantages of No Waiting Periods

There are two distinct advantages to having affordable dental insurance plan with no waiting period, particularly if an immediate procedure is needed. 

dental insurance helps save money1. You can get the care you need now.

The timing of treatment can mean the difference between a restored, healthy smile. 

2. You’ll save money.

Even with insurance, if you needed a root canal, for instance, it would most likely cost a lot more than a covered filling. Dental problems can occur for many reasons, and they tend to get worse over time. So, the sooner you can get treated, the more you’ll save in future expenses.

Can You Get Dental Insurance With Pre-existing Conditions? 

Depending on your plan, you may be able to get affordable dental insurance with pre-existing conditions.

A pre-existing condition is an oral health problem that is already present at the time you sign up for insurance. Most plans will cover minor pre-existing conditions, such as cavities, right away. But some plans will not provide coverage for more serious pre-existing conditions. They may impose a waiting period for these pre-existing conditions or perhaps not cover them at all at any time.

Types of Insurance with No Waiting Period

There are generally two different types of dental insurance plans that you can obtain without the need of a waiting period: a DHMO or a DPPO:

DMHO (Dental Health Maintenance Organization)

A DMHO provides a network of dentists and dental offices for you to choose from. You’ll select a primary dentist for all your basic care, and if a specialist is needed for any major procedures, your primary dentist will refer you to a specialist within the network.

As long as you stay within the plan’s network, you won’t be responsible for the total cost of covered services. Should you step out of the network, you’ll typically take on the full cost of service. Most DMHOs have no annual maximums, which is the most that a plan will pay toward the cost of your care in a given year, and many don’t have an annual deductible either. 

DPPO (Dental Preferred Provider Organization)

A DPPO plan provides a little more flexibility in that you can roam outside the provider’s network and still receive some coverage for services. You may not need a primary dentist or referrals for services. The tradeoff for greater freedom is that a DPPO generally garners higher monthly costs in premiums and can come with annual limits.  

Dental Discount Plans: Another Option 

Dental discount plans require a monthly fee, just like a premium. This fee may grant you access to a collection of discounted offers put forth by various dentist offices in your area. Dental discount plans are not the same as dental insurance plans. But if you find a dental discount plan with no waiting period, you may have immediate access to an array of services at reduced prices.

What Is the Best Dental Insurance With No Waiting Period for Your Needs?

The best dental insurance with no waiting period depends on your insurance needs and budget. HealthMarkets can help you compare plans available in your area today. Get started reviewing your affordable dental insurance with no waiting period options with HealthMarkets today.


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