When faced with a dire dental emergency like a broken crown, severe dental ache due to a tooth infection or swollen gums, would you hesitate to go to the dentist and get the oral care you need? If you belong to the 45 million Americans who do not have dental health insurance coverage, you probably would not.
Dental care is not cheap, that's why most families do not get the adequate dental care that they need, which could lead to more complications and more expensive dental procedures later on.
If you are fortunate enough to be working with a company that includes dental health coverage with your medical insurance, then more than half of your dental issues are taken care of. On the other hand, if you are unemployed or underemployed, or you are working for a company that does not have such a benefit, your best option is to get an individual dental insurance. This means paying for your own insurance coverage so that you would be prepared to face any dental emergencies in the future.
What You Need to Know About Individual Dental Insurance
Individual dental insurance packages come in many sizes and forms, but the common thing about them is that they provide you some options when faced with a dental emergency. Some insurance providers cover as much as 80% of your dental treatment costs, which would be a big help, especially if the emergency comes at a time when you're living on a tight budget.
Individual dental insurance plans differ in the extent of the coverage they offer. The most common types of insurance are indemnity, DHMO and PPO types of insurance plans.
Indemnity dental insurance provides the policyholder the liberty to choose dentists and commonly, these kind of insurance pays more than half of the usual dental fees for services rendered, On the other hand, there are also DHMO (dental health management organizations) dental insurance plans which pool policyholders and provide them a roster of dentists. If, however, the policyholder chooses to see a different dentist who is not an accredited dental care specialist of the HMO company, the HMO is only liable to pay what is agreed upon on the insurance contract and the difference would have to be paid by the insured.
PPO or preferred provider dental plans are more flexible than HMOs, because you can choose to avail the services of your own dentist, who may not be a partner of the PPO. Both HMO and PPO individual dental health insurance plans charge a monthly premium, which allows you to visit your dentist several times a year for check ups, fillings, x-rays and other preventive dental care treatments for free.
Once you have decided that an individual dental insurance plan is what you need, choose the insurance company with the best benefits offered, but consider also the premium price, the extent of the coverage and the percentage of the dental treatment cost that the company will pay for. Work within your budget, and make sure that you are not paying for unnecessary benefits.
Individual dental insurance plans differ from each other, and it is to your best interest to understand the fine print of the insurance policy so that you can understand the extent and financial costs of the services you are getting.