You've heard time and again that dental insurance can protect you and your family from dental and financial catastrophe. Even cheap insurance with minimal coverage will most likely save you big bucks over the course of your lifetime. A quick Web search will show that insurance is big business, and your options are becoming more expansive - and complicated - by the day. Not sure where to begin when it comes to understanding your dental insurance? Here are five things to consider when selecting family dental plans or an individual dental insurance plan that works for you!
- Shop around! Finding a plan that works can be quite a feat. Even when employers offer dental insurance benefits to their employees and their families, it often isn't enough. This means you'll need to shop high and low until you find the best plan for your budget and lifestyle. The Internet has made all of this much easier - you have access to informational materials on a multitude of companies right at your finger tips. Be sure to read all the fine print; when it comes to your health, surprises are rarely a good thing.
- Know your limits. All insurance plans have maximums - some good, others bad. A low maximum on your total benefits is never a good thing. That means if something major (and expensive) comes up, you may have to delve into your own pockets. A second maximum applies to your yearly deductible, which is the most amount of money you'd be expected to pay for your own care. A low maximum on your deductible is a great thing, so be sure to do the math when comparing policies.
- Maintain control over your health. A dental insurance company may or may not have your best interests at heart, but, either way, they're somewhat removed from the situation. It's important that you have a say in your dental health. For starters, shouldn't you be able to choose your dentist, or at least have a plethora of options should one provider not work out? It's also important that you and your dentist have a lot of pull when it comes to making important decisions - an insurance company should never put unreasonable restrictions on the type of care you can receive.
- Look for the 3 R's (sort of): Prevention, Restoration and Emergency Care. Having access to these three types of dental care is critical for lifelong oral health. Preventive care reduces the likelihood that you'll develop a dental condition that could have been avoided. Restorative care ensures that things that do go wrong, such as damaged or decayed teeth, will be fixed. Finally, emergency care you'll receive the proper care when you need it immediately, such as if your tooth is knocked out. Some family dental plans cover other specialty care, like orthodontics, so consider your needs and go from there.
- The waiting game. Some insurance companies make you wait a certain period of time before they will cover certain procedures. If you need immediate attention, find a policy that supports it. If everything's in order, however, a minor wait may not be a major issue for you.
A carefully selected family or individual dental insurance plan could not only save you in a pinch, but ensure good oral health for life. It's critical, however, to do your research and read the fine print. Don't let your dental insurance company take you for a ride!