Guidelines in Choosing Good Dental Plan

Posted on May 15, 2010 in Dental Articles

PictureStudies show that good dental hygiene is a key ingredient to good overall health. In the past, dental plans have been the least concern for most families and companies. Today, many individuals have realized the importance of oral health. This new discovery has contributed to a growing need of dental plans for families and employers. If you are choosing an affordable dental plan, cost is not always the key ingredient to finding plan that works for you.

Here are a few key questions to ask:

1. Are there local providers in your area?

Does your insurance company has appointed providers? While most insurance companies do not restrict you to visit only their appointed providers, there are few who do. Or they may recommend a list of providers in your area. It is imperative to find dental providers that are located near your home or work for convenience. Also, you never know when an emergency may occur where you need your dentist now.

2. What am I expected to pay?

Be sure to know what is expected of you in the plan. Is there a deductible amount or co-pay percentage per visit? Deductible amount means that you have to first pay this amount out of your own pocket before you can claim for your dental insurance benefit. And for example, 20% co-pay means that you pay 20% of your dental bill while the insurance pays for the remainder 80%. 

Picture3. Is direct billing service available?
Visiting a dental office that has a direct billing relationship with your insurance company can sometimes make your dental visit payment-free. It also relieves you the hassle of completing claim forms. Do check your preferred dental office if they provide this service. Be sure to check your dental benefit balance, deductible amount, if any, before visiting your dentist.
4. What are my benefits in this plan?

Are annual services, such as cleaning and examinations, covered 100% or are you expected to contribute? Many dental diseases are preventable with minimum cost and effort. Hence, dental coverage should always have a preventive orientation. The onset of dental disease occurs early in childhood. Hence, coverage extended to children is important in terms of a lifetime of satisfactory oral health. A good dental plan should cover routine dental services such as oral examination, fluoride treatments, teeth cleaning, extraction and filling. Be sure to read over the plan you choose so that you can be comfortable with payments. The worst thing to happen is to get a big surprise bill in the mail.

Anticipate your dental needs. If you require more extensive treatments, such as oral surgery, cosmetic surgery, orthodontics, dental implant etc., does your insurance cover them? How about prescriptions? These are all great questions to ask to be sure that you are comfortable with the plan you choose. If your dental plan does not cover these options, you need to pay for them yourself. Some dental issues have alternative treatments that you can choose, and your dental might cover those. 

5. Are there any treatment restrictions?
PictureThis is very important question and you should know the answer up front. In many cases, individuals will choose a plan in order to get a procedure such as crown or root canal performed only to find that the selected dental plan does not cover the procedure, it is imperative to know that you can have a relationship with your dentist where the options are open for you to select in confidence the treatment that is most needed without the burden of risking an unexpected bill. Do discuss your treatment plan with your dentist and insurance company before commencing treatment.
6. Can I change dentists at any time without restrictions?
Isn’t it good to have piece of mind? Generally, great care is taken when choosing a dentist. If a case arises where the dentist performs less that you require, it is your right to change your dentist at any time. After all, it is your oral health on the line and no dental plan restrictions should keep you from making free decisions on who you choose to perform dental services. You can get a dental plan either for an individual, or for the entire family. The discounts are bigger if you choose a family dental plan. The rates should be compared, so that you can pick the best option for you. Selecting a dental plan that is right for you is easy. The most important step is realizing what you and your family needs most. Enquire with at least three companies to begin your search for a good dental plan.