Understanding Your 2018 Dental Insurance
Health insurance is always changing – and the average consumer struggles to keep up with the shifting landscape. But your dental insurance is crucial to your oral health – it should allow you to receive affordable preventive care and avoid more serious problems.
Your general dentist and their team will help you understand exactly what kind of coverage you can expect. At the same time, you can take steps at home to gain a better comprehension of your dental coverage, especially if you have an upcoming procedure.
Coordinating with Your Dentist
Your dentist is the first line of support when attempting to decipher insurance benefits. While dental insurance can quickly become confusing to you, the staff at your dentist office works with different dental insurance plans every day and can help you in deciphering what you’re covered for, and what out of pocket costs you can expect.
Your dentist’s office may also be able to assist you in getting an allowance towards the cost of a procedure that’s not explicitly covered in your insurance plan, and can help you in putting the money you would have gotten for one procedure, such as a bridge, towards a similar product like an implant.
Your dental office is your resource in getting the most out of your coverage, and many offices can help you with paying for what’s not covered under your insurance. Many offices offer payment plans that allow patients to make payments over time so issues don’t go untreated and become much bigger problems.
Typical Dental Insurance Benefits
When it comes to how you view your dental insurance, the best piece of advice is to look to your policy as more of a “discount card” than a traditional insurance policy like you have for your car or your home.
Dental insurance is structured as a way for employers to help their employees offset some of the costs of dental care, and to maintain optimal dental health through routine exams and cleanings.
While every dental insurance policy is different in what it covers, a standard employer-provided PPO should cover between 70 and 100 percent of the costs for treatments like:
- Regular checkups
- Teeth cleaning twice a year
- Fluoride treatments for children under a specified age
- Sealants for children under a specified age
- Root canals
More Expensive Procedures
Dental insurance plans typically have tiers of coverage, with basic options meant to cover the average preventative expenses associated with your oral hygiene. Depending on the type of coverage you have selected, your insurance may also cover a certain percentage of more expensive procedures such as:
- Orthodontic coverage for braces
- Referrals to orthodontic specialists
- Partial Dentures
Most PPO dental plans have provisions for fee reductions when a patient has services rendered by a participating network provider. The participating providers have already agreed to an itemized fee schedule with your insurance provider, so most covered services have fee reductions from 10-35% off the regular fee when you stay “in-network”.
Preventive Care is the Best Bet
The number one way you can save money on dental procedures is to maintain good oral health by going to your routine dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year. By scheduling routine exams, you stay on top of potential problems and nip them in the bud before they become bigger problems that your insurance will not cover.
If you have questions on how to make the most of your 2018 dental insurance benefits, ask our team to review your coverage details with you at your first annual cleaning!
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