Extract the most out of your dental insurance with these tips

Extract the most out of your dental insurance with these tips

Have dental insurance or want it? Then make the most of what you have or get. Dental care experts who spoke with Angie’s List say that many consumers don’t know what benefits they have or how to use them. They recommend these tips to maximize your coverage for better oral health.

•Choose a plan that helps pay for the treatment you know you need.

•Ask the insurer if the plan you have or want has waiting periods before it will pay for some treatments.

•Find out what percentage of the treatment cost your plan will pay. Most plans pay 100 percent of the cost for diagnostic exams and basic cleanings every six months, and X-rays once a year. Take advantage of these treatments.

Related: Is dental insurance right for you?

•If you have a dentist you want to keep, enroll in an insurance plan he or she accepts. Otherwise, use dentists and specialists in your plan’s dental network. Doing so gets you the best rates and prevents dentists from balance billing you for charges the insurer doesn’t allow them to pass onto plan members.

•Avoid out-of-network expenses by confirming before each visit that your new or existing dentist is a network provider.

•Before getting expensive dental treatment, ask your dentist to submit a pre-treatment estimate to your insurer with supporting medical records to confirm what the insurer will pay. Insurers won’t pay for treatment that isn’t medically necessary.

•When getting multiple dental procedures, get the treatment that promotes or improves your dental and medical health before making cosmetic fixes. Request alternative options and get second opinions if it makes you feel more confident about the treatment plan.

•If your treatment plan includes a number of procedures that exceed your annual benefit, wait until your benefits renew to begin another treatment.

Sources: Delta Dental Plans Association, MetLife Dental Insurance, A Dental Touch in Greenwood, Ind., Dr. Gregg A. Sweeney Dental Care in Indianapolis.


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(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Debra A. of Spartanburg, S.C.)
(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Debra A. of Spartanburg, S.C.)

These days, employers hardly ever offer dental insurance as a part of their benefit package to employees. Many dental plans seem to cost more than paying out-of-pocket for routine cleanings, but should you go without?

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Tom Mayer

Subject: Dental insurance tips

Hi Cynthia,
This is a great article. The only thing I would suggest for future articles about dental insurance would be to encourage your audience to check out a new generation of dental insurance plans that feature annual maximums of $3500 or even $5000 and even cover implants. I'm an independent insurance agent who sells in all 50 states and have 3 different plans that offer these kinds of benefits. Thanks again for doing this important work
Take care,
Tom Mayer

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