Just found out you need a major dental service (such as a crown, bridge, or dentures) and don’t currently have dental coverage? You could be in luck with dental insurance with no waiting period.
What is Considered Major Dental Work?
Major dental work refers to services that replace missing or damaged teeth. In dental insurance, major work falls into the most extensive of the three groups used to categorize most dental care:
- Preventative Services: Diagnostic and preventive services, such as cleanings and X-rays
- Basic Services: Basic restorative care, such as fillings and extractions
- Major Services: Major restorative care, such as root canals and crowns
Why Does My Dental Insurance Have a Waiting Period?
Dental insurance waiting periods help insurance companies keep costs low. Establishing a waiting period helps prevent consumers from purchasing plans only when they need extensive work they can’t afford on their own, then dropping their coverage. Waiting periods for major work help encourage regular exams and help keep membership high enough for premiums to provide coverage for those insured.
How Dental Insurance Waiting Periods Work
Depending on the insurance plan, dental policies may require that you have your policy for up to a year for major dental work before it’s covered. If you receive major dental work before the completion of the waiting period, you will be responsible for the entire bill.
One important point to note: if you had dental coverage prior to enrolling in a new plan, the waiting period might be waived. Check with your insurance company prior to any procedures so that you are aware of their waiting period policy.
What Services Does Dental Insurance With No Waiting Periods Cover?
Full-coverage dental plans with no waiting periods insure services such as:
- fluoride treatments
- root canals
Dental Coverage Options
A Dental Preferred Provider Organization plan (DPPO) gives you the ability to visit the dentist of your choice, but using an in-network provider will cost less out-of-pocket. You don’t have to designate a primary-care provider and there’s no referrals needed. However, these plans typically have waiting periods for major dental work. With DPPOs, you’ll also need to meet an annual deductible and pay coinsurance before your plan covers eligible benefits.
A Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DMO or DHMO) requires members to use in-network providers but usually grants coverage for a broad range of services, including major dental work. With DHMOs, you typically pay a specific dollar amount based on the service you are obtaining with no waiting period, no annual maximum, and no deductible.
Some dental insurance plans provide increasing benefits the longer you keep your plan. For example, the plan might pay 25% the first year of your plan, 50% the second year, and 80% for years three and beyond. Keep in mind that full coverage doesn’t mean that all your services are paid for. Full-coverage dental insurance means that many major services are at least partially covered.
Discount Dental Plans
An alternative no-waiting period dental care option is a dental discount plan. Discount dental plans are not dental insurance. These plans offer a wide array of discounts on various dental services from in-network dentists. Discounted services vary depending on the plan.
What Is The Best Dental Insurance for You With No Waiting Period?
With a variety of dental plans to choose from, there’s no one plan that works best for everyone. HealthMarkets makes it easy to find full coverage dental insurance with no waiting period from multiple companies to find the best plan for you. Compare dental plans today.