When paying out-of-pocket for regular checkups proves too expensive, individual dental insurance can help keep costs at a minimum after finding a dental plan that fits your needs. Although regular dental care is directly related to oral health, making sure your teeth get the attention they need is also a big part of your overall well-being.
Dental insurance is designed to cover part of the accumulating costs of dental care. While bills for biannual checkups may be relatively inexpensive, individual dental plans can help cover unexpected costs associated with dental injuries, operations (root canals), and prosthetics (crowns, bridges and implants). For individuals without dental insurance, these surprise visits to the dentist can create budgetary problems that last for years.
Keeping a healthy set of teeth is more important than you might think, as many diseases and conditions (including diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease) have direct correlations to dental health. An individual insurance plan makes good oral health easier to maintain and can help provide peace of mind - something that can’t be measured in dollars and cents.
How Does Individual Dental Insurance Work?
Dental insurance generally follows the “100-80-50” rule, meaning:
- Your coverage pays 100 percent of preventive and diagnostic services, including semi-annual checkups, cleanings, and x-rays.
- 80 percent paid for medically necessary work such as fillings and root canals.
- 50 percent paid toward crowns, bridge work, and other procedures Some plans might not cover the entire 50 percent for emergency operations, while other plans may not have any limits. This is why it’s important to choose the plan that best fits your needs (or gives you the most peace of mind).
There are three types of individual dental insurance: dental maintenance organization (DMO), preferred provider organization (PPO) and indemnity plans. DMO plans restrict coverage to dental professionals within a limited network, while PPO plans allow patients to visit dentists outside the preferred network. Indemnity plans allow the most freedom of the three, as any dentist is available under this option. PPO plans are the most popular of the three because dental professionals within the preferred network agree to accept lower fees for procedures.
Choosing an Individual Dental Plan
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency can help you find individual dental insurance that suits your needs. Several options are available to choose from, covering both preventive exams and restorative procedures.