Regular preventative care is essential to your good health, and if you have a dental emergency like a toothache, swelling, or a broken tooth, you can’t put off going to the dentist. While there are ways to afford dental care without insurance, having it can cover a majority of your cost and save you a lot of money. If you’re currently without coverage, our dentist in Fuquay Varina is sharing tips on how to choose the right dental insurance plan.
Consider Your Dental Coverage Needs
Dental insurance is available in all types of options, from low premiums and high co-insurance rates to a low out of pocket cost for preventative care and low deductibles, to near comprehensive coverage for a higher premium. You don’t want to pay for services you won’t need, so it’s important to think about where your dental health is.
For example, if you are single, younger than 40, and have good dental health with no history of gum disease or dental complications, then you can consider a plan that is more geared toward preventative care. On the other hand, if you have kids that will need braces, are prone to cavities and gum problems, or are aging, a more comprehensive plan may be right for you.
Consider you and your family’s dental health needs in the past, present, and future, weigh any genetic history of gum disease and decay, then make a list of estimated costs. This can help you determine what kind of costs you may be facing without insurance and what level of coverage may be most beneficial and cost-effective.
Know Your Dental Insurance Plans
There are four main types of dental insurance plans, and each one varies in terms of coverage, benefits, out-of-pocket costs, and dentist choice.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
A PPO provides you with access to a network of dental providers who accept reduced fees for the services covered. You’ll get the lowest out-of-pocket when seeing an in-network provider and the plan picks up the rest. Often, preventative care is paid for in full by insurance, whereas minor procedures like filling and extractions are paid 60 to 80 percent.
Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)
A DHMO prioritizes preventative care through in-network dentists. While the networks are smaller, and the plans aren’t as comprehensive, the premiums are generally much lower than PPOs.
Signing up for a discount plan offers a very low premium and a smaller selection of participating dentists. From a paperwork perspective, this is the easiest, most convenient plan because fees go to the dentist at treatment and you don’t have to file paperwork.
Managed Fee Insurance
Fee for service insurance is a traditional plan that has a large network of providers. Members pay a set percentage for services similar to a PPO, though the rates may be slightly higher in exchange for the wider network.
Determine If Your Employer Offers Dental Insurance
If you can be a part of a group insurance plan, such as one offered through your job, that will be much less expensive than having to choose a plan on your own. In fact, most people do have benefits through their job, AARP, or the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. When your job doesn’t have insurance available to you, see if you’re eligible for AARP or ACA plans to get care and save money. Of course, you’ll want to make sure they have the level of coverage you need.
If you can’t be a part of a group plan, look at individual policies and comparison shop for the right options. It’s important to note that many insurance companies do have waiting periods in place to prevent people from waiting until they need something, getting insured, then dropping it as soon as the procedure is done.
Research and Review Your Dental Insurance Policy
Once you have a few ideas for your dental insurance policy, be sure to check things like:
- If your current dentist is in their network or takes the insurance;
- What kind of coverage the plan offers and if it’s precisely what you’ll need now and a few months from how.
- Know exactly what out of pocket costs are for the care you’ll need most often – checkups, cavities, fluoride treatments for kids, and things like that.
Schedule an Appointment with our Fuquay Varina Dentist Today
At our dental office in Fuquay Varina, we are part of numerous insurance networks, so if you’re looking for a dentist for yourself and your family, reach out to us today. In addition to insurance coverage, we also have monthly dental care membership programs that provide a low cost way to get the care you need. Right now, we are accepting new patients and, with quality care in a welcoming environment, we provide comprehensive dental services to the whole family. To learn more, call us at 919-552-2431 or schedule an appointment today.