If you’re looking for a dental insurance plan for the coming year, you probably already know how daunting it can be. It can feel like you’re navigating a bureaucratic minefield as you hope to get the best coverage at the best price.
Our Exceptional Dentistry team is here to help! We have found the following strategy to be useful for patients looking for the optimal dental insurance plan for their family and budget:
Choose Your Dental Insurance Plan Wisely
Having the Freedom to Choose Your Dentist and Dental Practice
You want an insurance plan that lets you choose your dentist and dental practice where you will feel most comfortable bringing your family because, let’s face it, not all dental practices are equal. Dentists differ when it comes to their knowledge and skill levels and how up-to-date the practice is with modern dental technology. You want to choose wisely to get the best quality of care.
Insurance Plans: The Yearly Maximum Amount They Will Pay
Insurance companies typically stick to a yearly maximum they will payout, and $1,000/year is pretty average.
Unfortunately, that will barely cover fixing a tooth in today’s economy. Wherever possible, aim for a higher maximum to get the most coverage out of your plan, especially if you’re looking to have major dental treatment coming up next year.
Beware of Dental Insurance Plans With a Waiting Period
Did you know that some dental insurance plans come with a waiting period of up to six months before kicking in to help you pay for the treatment? Pick a plan that works on your time schedule or make sure you plan accordingly.
Know What Procedures the Dental Insurance Plan Covers at What Percentages
But there might be some other important treatments that the insurance refuses to cover. They often won’t cover a deep cleaning, or periodontal maintenance, or they will put those services in one of the lower percentage categories (so they can pay less). So it’s a good idea to know what percentage the dental insurance company WILL pay in those different categories so you will know how much you’ll have to pay to make up the difference.
Percentages covered can vary depending on the insurance company you choose and the insurance plan you use.
Additionally, not all plans cover all dental treatments, and insurance often only pays for poorer quality materials such as mercury-filled metal fillings vs. higher quality porcelain restorations, while they do cover dentures not everyone even needs.
Dental Insurance Plans and Their Fee Schedules
It’s common for dental insurance plans to have their own fee schedule for certain dental procedures and this will give you the maximum fee they will be basing the rate of payment on.
Understand that insurance companies are, by their very nature, financial institutions to make a profit! Your oral health is NOT their number one priority. Unlike dental practices, who actually DO care about your oral health, and want to provide you with the highest quality of dental care that you can get. Dentists and the dental team are educated and trained to give you the best quality of care using the latest dental technologies. This difference in priorities can make a world of difference to your oral health.
When it comes to dental treatments you want to have the best insurance coverage for you and your family’s needs, and you’ll want to be prepared for the costs your plan won’t cover.
Remember, dental insurance is only there to cover part of the cost of treatment. When your plan says it covers something 100%, this actually means they will cover 100 percent of what the insurance provider ALLOWS for that procedure. So if your insurance provider allows $70 for an $85 treatment, you will be responsible for the $15 difference.
What You’re Paying For
At the end of the day, dentists want to help you be healthy. And this is why you are going to them in the first place, you want someone who cares about you and your oral health, rather than a third party insurance company and what they are willing (or not willing) to pay!
When you choose a dental provider who is too concerned with insurance you will see a decline in:
- Quality of dental care you receive
- Education, skill and expertise level of the dentist and dental team
- Quality and modernized technology and equipment like: digital X-rays, early cavity detection, laser dentistry, or VELscope® technology cancer screening used to treat you.
- Quality of materials (which can impact how long they last or can even be bad for your overall health).
Dare we say it? The bottom line is you’re getting what you pay for! You may even have in the past experienced poor service or failed treatments from a previous dental provider because not all dentists and dental offices operate the same. Their fees may be less, but their quality of service may also be less. You want your dental provider to treat you and your family with the quality care and attention you deserve.
If you have questions or concerns about your oral health or how dental insurance works, please give us a call today at (661) 349-7725 or schedule your reservation online for a complimentary consultation with our office in Palmdale, California.