Is Dental Insurance Worth it?

Most everyone can agree that health insurance is worth it. Without health insurance coverage, you could be facing $1,000’s of dollars a month or more depending on the care and services you need. When it comes to dental insurance, however, people are unsure if it is worth the monthly premium. In this blog post, we are going to break down why we believe having dental insurance is worth it.

On average, depending on your state, most individual Americans pay between $20 to $50 per month for dental insurance, and most families spend between $50-$150. This average will also depend on the coverage you select. When considering typical dental coverage, commonly referred to as a “100-80-50” plan, the average investment is likely to be worth it. How? Well, let’s take a look at what you will receive with your coverage.

A “100-80-50” plan means that the plan will pay 100% of the cost of routine preventive and diagnostic care (usually two checkups with cleanings annually). It will also pay 80% of the cost of essential services such as fillings or root canals, and then it will cover 50% of the cost of major procedures such as crowns and bridges. You can see how dental insurance can be worth it if you are paying the average premium being that you have the opportunity to receive routine services covered at 100%, and then also a portion of unexpected dental services covered.

With dental insurance, it is important to realize that most plans have an annual benefit cap. This is usually around $1,000 to $2,000 per year. Once you have reached that amount, you will be responsible for the payments for any additional care and procedures needed. The cap can be reached relatively quickly if you discover you need major dental work such as a crown, but it is important to realize that most people are typically only paying around $360 annually for basic coverage allowing them to receive recommended preventative care likely to be covered at 100%, and unexpected care likely covered around 50-80%. Without dental insurance coverage, one would likely pay way more than the average annual premium when simply paying their dentist out of pocket for recommended annual care.

In conclusion, if you are looking to get dental insurance with the hopes it will cover major dental work that you know you need, then you may be disappointed with a typical dental plan and should consider a plan more suited to your needs which would likely carry a higher monthly premium. On the contrary, if you are hoping to use your dental insurance for recommended annual preventative care, you are likely to save on dental care by being covered by dental insurance. Likewise, if an unexpected issue arises leading you to need a filling or root canal, you will at least be able to have a portion of your expenses covered under your plan. Last but not least, experts have discovered that people who have dental insurance are more likely to visit their dentist for regular exams which is clearly a positive for your oral health and overall wellness.

Here are a few tips to consider when selecting dental coverage:

  1. Review and understand the purpose in which you are considering dental insurance… is it for routine care or are you in need of major dental work?
  2. Carefully review what’s covered with your plan, the limits, deductibles, and expected out of pocket expenses.
  3. Verify which dentists accept the coverage you are considering. Do you have a specific dentist that you prefer to see? If so, do they accept that coverage?

References:

  1. Gov, H. (2019, January 08). What’s the difference between dental insurance and dental discount plans? Retrieved January 31, 2019, from https://www.healthinsurance.org/faqs/whats-the-difference-between-dental-insurance-and-dental-discount-plans/
  2. G. (2017). DENTAL BENEFITS: A BRIDGE TO ORAL HEALTH & WELLNESS. Retrieved January 31, 2019, from https://www.guardiananytime.com/gafd/wps/wcm/connect/a5e07677-6243-4c5a-ba7a-b8a198c84907/dental-coverage-benefits-study.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=m4e-tRu