5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Dental Insurance Plan

Nov 22, 2017

As the year draws to a close, you may be shopping for a dental insurance plan to meet your oral health care needs in 2018. When you pick a dental insurance provider, there are a few things you need to consider before signing on the dotted line. Keep reading to learn a few of the important questions you need to ask before selecting a dental insurance plan. If your employer offers dental insurance, it is likely considered elective coverage. While it may be tempting to sign up for whatever they provide, you may be able to find a better deal independently. Best of all, many employers will still reimburse you for part of the cost of your dental insurance coverage.

1 – Does Your Dentist Accept This Insurance?

If you already have a dental office you trust, switching your insurance provider shouldn’t mean changing dentistry practices. Ask your dentist what dental insurance they accept, and you can even ask your dentist for recommendations. No one knows dental insurance coverage better than a dentist, so take advantage of their knowledge to pick the best provider.

2 – What Does the Plan Cover?

Before picking a plan, ask about coverage. Good insurance plans should cover 100% of preventive dentistry treatments including two annual checkups, teeth cleanings, and dental x-rays. Your dental insurance plan should cover at least 80% of preventive care. If not, keep looking. Restorative treatments and orthodontics should be covered between 50 and 80%.

3 – What Treatment Restrictions are There?

Dental insurance providers will set prices they consider usual, customary, and regular for treatment plans. Additionally, some plans require dentists to use specific materials or treatment methods. Even if you choose a provider that places these restrictions, most plans allow you and your dentist to choose other treatments, but you will have to pay the difference in cost. Make sure to ask about plan restrictions and consult with your dentist to determine whether or not these restrictions are reasonable.

4 – Are There any Waiting Periods?

Most dental insurance providers don’t have waiting periods for benefits to kick in like medical benefit plans. However, there may be a few plans that do, so don’t forget to ask before choosing a plan.

5 – Have You Used up Your Current Year Benefits?

If you’re switching providers in the following year, make sure to use up any benefits you have left over from your current insurance plan. The easiest way to do that is to schedule a dental checkup if you haven’t already visited the dentist twice in your current year. During this second annual appointment, you can ask your dentist for recommendations to use up any remaining insurance benefits.

Meet Dr. Miller

At the St. Peter dental office of Jennifer Miller, DDS, we are always here to help whenever patients need us, and our knowledgeable team has years of experience working with dental insurance providers to maximize patient benefits. If you’re already a patient at Valley View Dental or looking for a dental practice in St. Peter, call our office to schedule an appointment before the end of the year. We’ll review your dental insurance coverage and help you achieve and maintain your healthiest smiles.


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