Choosing a dental insurance plan can be confusing. Whether because of starting a new job or because it’s that time of year when your employer gives you the option to change your plan, deciding which insurance plan is best for you and your family can be overwhelming. If it’s time for you to pick a plan, here are some tips to help you navigate your choices.
First of all, if you have a relationship with a dentist and you’d like to continue to see him or her for your dental treatment, make sure your plan allows you to choose to visit any dentist you’d like. Some plans have a list of providers you are forced to choose from. This can prevent you from continuing to visit the dentist you’ve already chosen for yourself or your family. Also, if you don’t have a dentist, many people don’t like being told where they can and can’t go and want to have the freedom to choose any dentist that makes them comfortable. Having the freedom to visit wherever you choose is something to consider when choosing a dental insurance plan.
The Michigan Dental Association offers a guide for understanding dental benefits on their website www.SmileMichigan.com and they recommend taking care to make sure the plan you choose offers coverage for basic dental care. This would include preventative care such as cleanings, regular exams, and x-rays. Also, check to make sure the plan covers basic dental procedures and treatments. You should know if your coverage includes common dental treatment such as fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals.
Once you know what is covered under the insurance plan, it is important to ask if any treatments are excluded. For example, if you have children you might want to know if orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign is covered. Some plans offer adult orthodontic coverage and this may be something you’d like to know as well. It is also important to ask if the plan has any waiting periods. Having a waiting period means that certain procedures are not covered until the waiting period is fulfilled and you will be responsible for the cost of treatment during the waiting period.
When choosing a dental insurance plan, you should check to see if you are allowed to visit a specialist as needed. If your dentist refers you to see a specialist for a specific problem you’re having, find out if you’ll be free to visit whichever specialist you and your dentist decide on whenever the need arises. Some plans require something called “pre-authorization” and this means that the insurance company has to approve treatment before it is performed. This can delay treatment and is something to think about when choosing a plan.
When deciding on a dental insurance plan, your best course of action is to study the various plans available to you in order to compare the benefits of each plan. This will help you get a very good understanding of what the plans entail. You should speak with your employer or human resource representative if you have questions. You can also speak with your dentist about the terms of the plans and how they would affect your dental treatment.