A Complete Consumer Guide to Supplemental Dental Insurance
Many things have really changed over the past few decades. Gone are the days when an employer could meet all insurance needs of his employees even without deducting anything from their monthly salaries. Due to the ever-rising cost of living, most of the employers have done away with dental insurance all together. As such, many people have opted for supplemental dental insurance.
Keep in mind that your dental health is extremely vital as it determines your overall body health. A lot of people have suffered dental infections, such as gum disease, broken teeth, rotting teeth, and many others. As such, there is need of getting dental insurance to help reduce the high costs of dental treatment. Whether you are self-employed or a company’s employee, obtaining supplemental dental care plan is the way to go.
Types of Supplemental Dental Insurance
When people talk about supplemental insurance, they refer to a secondary plan which can be used together with the primary insurance policy. These people hope to use their primary policy whenever they visit a dentist and have a second supplemental policy, which helps reduce the cost of the copay from the first insurance policy.
In the field of dentistry, there are only a few policies that operate in this manner. The idea of supplemental insurance was borrowed from the field of medical insurance. In the medical field, there are specific companies that offer true supplemental insurance. However, in dentistry, things are quite different. Most of the dental offices only accept one policy at a time, which means they do not honor supplemental dental coverage the way most people perceive it.
Supplemental dental insurance comes in two different forms; insurance acquired as an addition to the existing coverage, or a replacement of existing dental coverage. This kind of dental insurance is meant to seal those gaps that were left by policyholders when they purchased dental or medical coverage. Such gaps usually occur when the policy’s annual spending limit is reached. It also occurs if the policy does not offer coverage required for dental treatments. Remember that most of the dental plans do not include dental coverage. As such, dental insurance is often obtained as a supplementary.
Also, supplemental dental insurance is defined as a plan that is used when the primary policy does not cater for all dental procedures. Still, it can be used if someone has reached their maximum on their primary plan. While at a dentist’s office, patients are required to use only one plan at a time. Even if a patient carries several supplemental plans, they are required only to use one to clear the bill.
How Supplement Insurance Works
It is good to understand how supplemental dental coverage works before purchasing the policy. This kind of dental insurance plan is quite different from the normal or standard plans. The significant differences occur as a result of the following three aspects:
- Provider Networks
Unlike in standard dental insurance, there are no in-network or out-of-network healthcare providers in supplemental dental plans. This, therefore, means that you are free to choose the dental care provider that can meet all your dental coverage needs. In essence, supplemental coverage plan is not as strict as the standard coverage. As such, you have the freedom to select a dental care provider based on your preferences and health needs.
- Waiting Periods
Almost all supplemental insurance plans have a waiting period. Suppose you need the services immediately, you will have to cater by cash for expenses not covered by your primary dental insurance. But there are wellness benefits that are covered immediately. For instance, there is no need to wait if you have supplemental insurance to cater for routine teeth cleanings. However, for orthodontia or cosmetic procedures, you must face a waiting period of several months or even a whole year.
- Payment Benefits
With traditional dental insurance plans, the insurer pays the dentist. The only thing you are expected to pay out of your pocket is what you owe finally owe. But with supplemental insurance, you will have to settle everything out of your pocket then get refunded by the insurer. This, therefore, means that you pay on a temporary basis and then get reimbursed.
Note that certain dental treatments, such as orthodontic treatment can be costly. As such, you need supplemental dental insurance to offset such high costs. Remember that a regular dental coverage from an insurance company leaves you with a gap whereby you are required to cater for a certain portion of your dental work.
Learn More about Affordable Supplemental Dental Plans
Affordable supplemental help is available from many different sources. There are countless low-cost insurance plans available in the market today as well as discount plans, which can significantly help reduce cost.
Tips for Choosing Supplemental Dental Insurance
In case you are looking for a supplemental dental plan, the best way to find the right plan is over the Internet. You can search via Google or Yahoo, and you will be able to get a lot of options to choose from. Look into many options so you can choose a plan that best suits your needs.
If you are looking to filling a certain gap in your health care insurance plan, supplemental dental insurance is the way to go. You can opt for supplemental dental insurance if your dental care needs exceed the limits of your primary insurance plan. This kind of insurance is purchased separately from a primary dental insurance plan to help cater for fees that are left uncovered by the primary plan.
The insurance helps reduce the amount of money you are supposed to pay for some dental procedures. These may include root canals, denture or braces. It also helps cut down the cost of standard preventive care, such as cleaning of teeth.
Before proceeding to purchase supplemental insurance, get to know whether your employer offers insurance benefits for which you qualify. And if so, find out what the benefits are. If your employer offers an excellent dental plan that can make you have a bright smile, then supplemental dental insurance may not be necessary at all.
While you may be having a good dental plan, you may find it instrumental to buy supplemental coverage just for a short period. For instance, you may be planning to undergo specific dental procedures, such as dental implants or one of your kids need braces. As such, you may opt for supplemental coverage for that period you need such procedures.
Keep in mind that supplemental dental insurance policies have a broad scope. Mostly, they do not have annual spending limits or any exclusions for past dental conditions. As such, you can purchase coverage for specific items, such as braces for your child. You can also add a rider to cater for all the trips to an orthodontist.
Also, consider weighing between paying directly from your pocket and paying regular premiums for supplemental dental insurance. Whichever you find cheaper consider going for it. So, before making your final choice, you should ask yourself whether or not the coverage is important to you. Never forget to check what is being covered by that supplemental coverage plan you are about to purchase.
Who Benefits from Supplemental Dental Insurance?
Anyone can benefit from this kind of insurance. Even if you are able to settle your dental expenses, it is wise to obtain a supplemental coverage. After all, no one would feel happy when settling a huge bill after dental treatment. Also, most of the dentists won’t accept cash payments. So, it is imperative to have supplemental insurance alongside your primary dental insurance. You can benefit a lot from supplemental insurance especially if you belong to one of the following categories:
- Large Families- Supplemental insurance is a good option for huge families, especially those mostly composed of young ones. It would be very difficult to settle dental expenses for more than five kids in your family. This is because children can undergo special dental treatments, which are highly costly. Also, dealing with dental emergencies can be expensive. That is why acquiring supplemental insurance is vitally important to help cater for some of the costs of dental treatment.
If you belong to a large family, supplemental dental coverage will enable you to:
- Enjoy fixed premiums
- Cater to the cost of wellness visits
- Enjoy full financial support after a fraction of payment
- Highly Vulnerable Patients
If your dental health is at great risk, you need to obtain supplemental dental insurance. This is because you might be faced with serious dental issues whose treatment requires a lot of money. And if you are not employed, or you are currently in a financial fix, you may face it rough when it comes to settling the bill. As such, you need to go for supplemental dental insurance to help cater for such dental expenses. You, therefore, need to do a bit of research to ensure the coverage you want is available.
- The Elderly
Most of the seniors in the United States use government-funded Medicare to cater for their medical bills. Unfortunately, this Medicare does not cover dental care. As such, obtaining a supplemental coverage plan helps ease the financial burden of the elderly. If you are living with older adults, you should advise them on the importance of acquiring supplementary dental coverage. That way, you will not be overburdened whenever they require any dental treatment.
Dental Treatments Covered by Supplemental Insurance
Your primary dental insurance covers your routine dental care. Keep in mind that there are other dental treatments that you may want to undergo. For instance, dealing with braces and orthodontia issues can be costly. That is why having supplemental insurance to settle such dental expenses is highly crucial.
Traditional dental coverage views some of these dental procedures as optional or secondary. That is why they are no longer included in the primary insurance coverage. These may include cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, veneers, and enamel micro-abrasion, among others. It is, therefore, advisable to have supplemental dental insurance as it covers such procedures either partially or completely.
Importance of Supplemental Dental Insurance
Dental insurance plays a great role in your family’s overall healthcare plan. But remember that not all health insurance policies come with dental coverage. Supplemental dental insurance is worth purchasing. For instance, through a network of providers, this type of dental insurance cover enables you to clear your dental expenses. It helps reduce the cost of services such as diagnostic tests, preventive services, exams, and restorative dental procedures. With supplemental dental insurance, you are likely to make dental care a bit more affordable.
Questions to Ask Yourself before Obtaining Supplemental Dental Coverage
Supplemental dental insurance provides coverage that enables you to reduce cost on various dental procedures. It also helps with dentures, braces, and orthodontia, alongside the reduction of the cost of preventive care. Before you commence shopping around for a suitable supplemental dental plan, it is good to know what benefits your employer offers. If, for instance, your employer has included a comprehensive dental plan in your benefits package, it beats logic to go for supplemental insurance. Below are some of the questions you should ask yourself before making your final decision.
- Is Dental Insurance Important?
Keep in mind that dental health plays a great role in your overall body health. Recent research indicates that about ninety percent of all diseases have indicators in the mouth. As such, a healthy mouth means overall body wellness. So, it is safe to say that dental insurance is vital and can enable you to live a healthy life. That said, you should not think twice about acquisition of supplemental dental coverage.
- Do I Have Primary Dental Coverage?
As mentioned earlier, if dental care has been added to your healthcare package by your employer, then supplemental insurance will be a waste of time and money. So, you need to examine your primary dental insurance policy closely before opting for supplemental coverage.
- What Does Dental Care Cost?
Whenever you walk into a dental office for basic check-up or teeth cleaning, obviously you will part with not less than $300. For complex dental procedures, such as root canal, fillings or crown, you will pay up to $1500. Such costs can be high for an average income earner. So, it is vital to obtain supplemental dental insurance to help leverage such high medical bills.
If you have answers to the above questions, then you are good to go. Remember you have to shop around for a good deal of supplemental dental insurance. Always compare deals in different insurance companies before making your final decision. By so doing, you are no doubt going to make a well-informed decision.
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