Immediate Quotes For The Best Dental Insurance For Individuals Without Giving Personal Info.


How do I determine the best dental insurance for individuals or families, or even small groups?

There are many sources to choose from for figuring out the best dental insurance approach for a given situation. One industry group reports that more than 20 companies are now offering traditional personal dental insurance. There are at least that many companies offering "dental discount insurance" or dental discount plans. (These plans are not insurance since they have no protection against undetermined future risks, the definition of a true insurance plan*.)

The following are common questions to ask when trying to find the best dental insurance program for yourself, your family or your employees: (Continued After Table...)


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CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS FEES METRO AREA STATE
DIAGNOSTIC D0120 Periodic oral evaluation $33 National Sample NA
DIAGNOSTIC D0150 Comprehensive oral evaluation $53 National Sample NA
DIAGNOSTIC D0274 X-Ray: Bitewings-4 films $49 National Sample NA
PREVENTIVE D1110 Prophylaxis-adult $58 National Sample NA
RESTORATIVE D2140 Amalgam filling-1 surface, primary or permanent $88 National Sample NA
RESTORATIVE D2330 Resin-based filling composite 1 surface, anterior $108 National Sample NA
RESTORATIVE D2750 Crown-porcelain fused to high noble metal $760 National Sample NA
ENDODONTICS D3330 Molar (excluding final restoration) $780 National Sample NA
PERIODONTICS D4341 Periodontal scaling and root planing, 4 or more teeth, per quad. $181 National Sample NA
PROSTHODONTICS D5110 Complete denture-maxillary $850 National Sample NA


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1. Level of Choice. Almost all plans have limitations since it's up to each dentist as to whether to join or not. The only 100% "go anywhere" dental insurance plans are either traditional indemnity (also known as fee for service plans) and some employer self funded plans. (One style of which is known as direct reimbursement, which is available to employers. It is typically used when the dental and medical benefits aren't offered together by an employer or when a company is administering it's own health plan.)

Even indemnity plans (considered to be the best dental insurance by many)have their limits in what they pay. This dental insurance approach typically offers higher plan maximums and often pay the dentists more of their asked for fee. Still, if a dentist won't accept these payments, then the patient must which often limits access. The key in accepting a plan is to determine how many dentists are participating in the area. More dentists helps in two ways. First, it does increase choice for you or your employees. Second it helps to hold down fees charged by the dentists since more dentists per patient means dentists often don't set their fee structures at the highest level due to supply and demand.

2. What's Covered? Individual dental insurance or small business dental insurance generally have limits. The predominant dental insurance type today is preferred provider organization or PPO. Most of these plans do offer preventative care, such as exams, x-rays and cleanings, with low or no co-pays. Dental health maintenance organizations (HMO or DHMO) typically follow this as well. And dental discount programs can include either free or reduced exams and x-rays and reduced cleanings. After that, for all three major types of dental insurance* for individuals can best be described as variable. Some plans which have high specialist populations, like endodontits, orthodontists, and oral surgeons, can offer coverage for areas such as root canals, braces and wisdom teeth removal. (If a plan doesn't have a lot of specialist coverage, ask some general dentists in the plan if they provide these procedures in office. Many do, and if so they may be covered under evaluated dental insurance.) Other plans have restrictions on what is considered "cosmetic" types of procedures such as veneers or inlays and onlays versus crowns. (Teeth whitening is generally always considered a cosmetic procedure and is not typically covered by even the "best" dental insurance for individuals or businesses.) And some arguably valuable preventative measures such as sealants to help prevent cavities may not have wide coverage for group or individual dental insurance, whether best for the patient or not. Unfortunately, the best dental treatments can be individually insurance-excluded, such as dental implants. An issue for some is how does the plan provide for emergency treatment and what provisions are made for emergency care when you are away from home.

3. How much will it pay? Even the best dental insurance for individuals or businesses is often pretty limited in what it will pay or reimburse for dental treatments. First, there's always a plan maximum. In theory, the best situation is to have the highest amount of benefits paid. However, there's a relationship to the monthly premium cost. Higher individual dental insurance maximums will almost always be accompanied by higher premium payments. The goal is to pay less in than you take out. This also takes into account the amount of deductible (portion not paid by the individual dental insurance prover) and co-payment (fee typicall paid at time of service), which are typically as much as half of the fee. So under a typical (and often a best case) scenario, a $1,000 crown, even though it is within the dental insurance plan maximum, will only have $500 payment from the insurer. If the individual has paid in a year's worth of $50 per month payments, they paid in $100 more than they received. Planning your dental treatment needs in time with the coverage is a wise idea. (In situations where the fees paid in versus treatment payments to your dentists don't work in your favor, consider an individual service dental discount or a combined service discount dental vision plan, which provides a discount on services actually used.)

* Dental discount plans are not considered dental insurance, if searching for coverage against non-determined risks, the best choice would likely be dental insurance for individuals, or small or medium businesses. See below table for sample fees for common procedures with and without discounts available under typical dental discount programs.