Having dental insurance is important. Unfortunately not everyone can afford it, and if you have a family this could mean that you are spending a lot of money out of pocket just to have your teeth cleaned or cavities filled. While some employers offer dental insurance they do not always cover everything that you need to have done when it comes to your teeth. You may not have a choice as to what your plan offers or a choice of more than one plan so you need to fully understand what the plan covers, what it doesn’t cover, and whether or not you should purchase a ‘full coverage’ dental plan to supplement the one offered through your employer.
A full coverage dental plan is one that includes all of the normal dental procedures that need to be performed. Usually they limit teeth cleaning to twice a year, but all other services are covered at varying rates. The best thing to do to keep your dental bill to a minimum is to take advantage of these twice yearly cleanings. By making sure your teeth are properly cleaned you can prevent problems that step from cavities, such as extraction of teeth and root canals.
Full coverage dental plans are different from discount dental plans. You use a standard insurance company that offers dental coverage and you enter into a contract with them that details what your policy will cover and how much the monthly premium will cost you. Just because it says ‘full coverage’ that is not always what it means. You have your treatment done, the claim is sent to the insurance company by the dentist and then you pay either a co-payment or a deductible.In some cases, the insurance company may deny payment for any conditions that are not clearly covered within the terms of the policy or any condition they feel was “pre-existing”. This means that you already had the condition at the time you purchased the policy.
Full coverage dental plans are designed to cover all of your basic dental needs as well as some minor dental care at an affordable price. They will not however, cover many more expensive procedures. Discount plans usually offer savings on what full coverage dental plans do not.
What exactly is covered by a full coverage plan?
o Basic procedures such as cleanings and x-rays.
o Fillings, bonding, caps, root canals, and other minor care with a small cost to you
Things such as surgery, dentures, braces and implants may or may not be covered by a full coverage dental plan. Most insurance companies do not view some of these procedures as necessary because they feel you could have avoided your teeth getting bad enough to require these procedures. Oral surgery and braces are sometimes the exception to the rule as impacted wisdom teeth and braces are things that usually cannot be avoided, where cavities to the point of needing a root canal can be. Other orthodontic procedures, whitening, and implants are typically considered cosmetic and are not covered under full coverage dental plans.
When researching full coverage dental plans make sure you look at more expensive procedures just to be prepared, especially if you have children that may require braces when they are older. You will save money on your dental care in the long run.