6 tips for choosing the best dental plan for your family
If you've ever had a toothache, you know how important it is to have dental care when you need it. Even better, you could avoid many dental problems by getting the regular cleanings and checkups provided by dental insurance.
But there are a lot of options to choose from. The premiums, deductibles and types of coverage can vary widely, and comparing all of the details can be confusing.
Here are a few tips for comparing dental plan options for your family.
1. Consider the needs of each family member
Every member of your family should get preventive care like exams, X-rays, and cleanings. Kids will need extras such as fluoride treatments, sealants, and in some cases, braces. If they are active or involved in sports, they may also need mouth guards (and be more prone to accidents). Adult dental insurance is needed for things like tooth sensitivity, gum disease, and replacing any missing teeth. Seniors may develop health conditions, such as diabetes or heart issues, so preventive care remains important.
2. Find out what plans are available in your area
Start by narrowing your search to the plans available in your state, county, or ZIP code. Insurance companies do not offer all of their plans in every area, so keep things simple by only comparing plans that you can actually purchase.
3. Look for a plan that has several dentists and dental practices
For a number of reasons, you may want to have more than one dentist to choose from. If you limit your choice to a single dentist or practice, what would you do if you experience issues with the office location or hours, or you may not feel comfortable with the dentist or a member of the office staff? Give your family the flexibility of having more than one option. You can get more tips on finding a new dental office here.
4. Consider all of the costs
When searching for a dental care provider, the first consideration is often the monthly cost or premium. Be sure to also look at the deductibles -- the amount of money that you will have to pay out-of-pocket for dental services before your insurance kicks in.
Another important cost is the maximum annual limit. Most insurance companies cap the amount they will pay per year for dental treatment. When you reach that annual cap, you are then responsible for any costs. This could be very important, especially if someone in your family has ongoing dental issues. Some plans also limit the number of certain procedures allowed each year, so be sure to figure that in to your decision.
5. Learn which treatments are covered in each plan
Most routine dental treatments are covered under dental insurance. However, many plans do not cover things like teeth whitening or dentures. Other plans may cover these treatments, but only up to a certain limit. Make sure you know exactly what is covered before selecting a plan.
Also be aware that some insurance plans have waiting periods. In some cases, you may have to wait up to 18 months before getting coverage for certain procedures. This is usually true for more expensive dental work.
6. Think about discount dental plans or savings plans
Different from insurance, these plans allow you to join a group where you enjoy discounts on certain services. You can learn more about finding the best discount dental plans here.
There is a wide variety of family dental insurance options available on today's market.
While cost is often a concern, you can save money in the long run if you take the time to consider the type of care your family needs. You can also help avoid hefty dental expenses by anticipating future needs.
Simply follow the steps provided, and you will be able to choose the plan that is right for you and your loved ones, plus get the best value for your money.