How Much Is Dental Insurance?

According to the American Dental Association, individuals should go to the dentist two times every year to have their teeth examined. Dental insurance is useful for helping with the costs of such semi-annual checkups, as well as other forms of treatment that may be necessary for the teeth.

When considering dental insurance, there are basically two types of plans to choose from. Dental insurance costs vary based on the type of plan selected and the amount of coverage it provides.

The Two Types of Dental Insurance

Among the two different significant kinds of dental plans available these days are fee for service plans and managed care dental plans. Managed care dental plans enforce restrictions on the amounts of services that they cover, as well as the dentists from which individuals are allowed to pick and the amount of money that they pay for such services. Solstice Plus Plan One is an example of this type of dental plan, and it runs $135 for individuals per year and $180 for families per year. Among its features are free dental exams including cleaning and X-rays every six months. Fillings are $45 co-pays, and tooth core build ups are $85 co-payments. Alternatively, fee for service plans reimburse their patients for the amount of money that they pay for the dental care. This is substantially different from the managed care variants of plans that base their payments around the kinds of services provided. Although patients are allowed choose any dentist they prefer, it is usually mandatory to pay for their dental treatments in advance. Later, employers will reimburse a portion of the treatment costs back to the employee. Typically a yearly limit applies as to the dollar amount of dental services that employers will reimburse. Avia Dental Plan is such an example. They reimburse from between twenty and seventy percent of the cost of dental cleanings and treatments. Individual plans are $125 and family plans are $170.

Selecting Your Dental Insurance Plan

The answer to the question how much is dental insurance varies based on a number of criteria. Among these is the ability to select one's own dentist. It is important to make sure that your dental care provider is a part of the dental plan which the individual selects. Some plans permit the person to pick any dentist which he or she wants, and others restrict the list of dentists that can be selected.

Another point which affects how much is dental insurance revolves around the services that a plan covers. Minimally, an individual ought to be able to count on semi-annual dental exams. It is important to learn which other kinds of services will be covered and what the patient's responsibility will be for the covered costs.

In determining how much is dental insurance, a person will need to understand which kinds of significant dental work is covered by the plan. It is important to know what percentage, if any at all, will be paid for by the dental plan. There are two phrases that a person will need to be on the look out for in choosing a plan, both of which will affect how much is dental insurance. The first of these is the LEAT, or least expensive alternative treatment. These are plans which will only cover the cheapest form of treatment available, regardless of whether the person and his or her dentist concur that a more costly form of treatment is the best route. Other, better dental plans, which cost more, utilize a UCR, or usual, customary, and reasonable form of analysis to determine what they will pay out on particular dental treatments. Beware the fact that UCR limits are often lower than what local dentists will actually charge, meaning that the person will have to be prepared to pay more for the treatments provided.

Okay, So How Much Is Dental Insurance?

It is important that the individual in question fully understands the real costs of his or her dental plan. Where managed care plans are concerned, the person will have to come out of pocket both a monthly insurance premium, along with any necessary co-payments which are charged when service is rendered. The person should remember that such dental insurance, once it is paid for, will still not fully cover most treatments, regardless of whether or not the dentist recommends them. Gaps between what the insurance plan will pay and what the services provided actually cost exist and can be substantial. A person's goal should be to find a dental plan to pay for that covers as much of any potentially necessary treatments as possible.

Dental discount plans can be had through an employer or purchased individually from a dental insurance company. Discounted dental plans are available to members of the public directly from a range of $7 to $26 per month for an individual. A family can expect to pay between $12.75 and $75 per month to receive immediately effective coverage and also have no, or little, deductible included. Co payments for services such as cleanings, general exams, fillings, or x-rays will range from $5 to $45. For these prices and types of plans, the person or family will be required to select a dentist which is within the network of the plan in question. Aetna Dental Access is a good example of such a plan, running $8.75 a month for individuals, and $13.35 a month for families. Alliance HealthCard Gold Card is a pricier version of the same type of plan, priced at $12.08 per month for individuals, and at $16.67 per month for families.