Choosing the right dental plan

Once you've made dental care a priority, you're ready to find the dental plan that works best—and is most cost effective—for you and your family. 

Start by reading the information about your company's plan. You can also go online and check what other dental insurance companies offer. Then consider these questions:

What's the deductible?

The deductible amount for your dental insurance works just like it does for your car insurance—it’s what you have to pay before your insurance benefits kick in. Dental plans with higher deductibles require you to pay more up front, so they cost less. Those with lower deductibles cost more.

What services are covered?

Every dental procedure falls into one of four categories of expenses:

Type I:       Preventive procedures—cleanings, X-rays, exams, fluoride, sealants

Type II:      Basic procedures—fillings, root canals, non-surgical extractions

Type III:    Major procedures—bridges, dentures, crowns

Type IV:    Ortho/Orthodontics—braces

Your expenses in each category may be fully or partially covered by your dental insurance policy. What you pay will depend on how the insurance company sets the coinsurance amounts.

How much will coinsurance pay?

Coinsurance is a cost-sharing arrangement where the plan pays a portion of the allowable expense for a covered service (e.g., 80%), and you pay the remaining amount (e.g., 20%).

A plan that has coinsurance levels probably costs more but will cover more of the expenses for high-priced dental work.

What are plan maximums?

Every dental plan sets limits for how much the plan will cover for each type of procedure. If the charges for your dental work go over the maximum allowed, you are responsible for any balance due.

A plan with higher plan maximums may cost you more initially, but there is less risk of paying extra later on.  

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