By Alfred Smith | December 3, 2011
Some people purchase several insurance policies so that they can keep themselves and their family members protected from unusual mishaps, which can happen anytime. Buying dental insurance can be very important, particularly for families who tend face dental problems more often than not. However, if you happen to be single and have problem-free teeth, you may not need a dental insurance policy at all. But for those who need dental insurance, you’ll find that if you shop carefully for an insurance plan, and identify one that’s best suited to your family’s needs, you can can get the most value from the premiums that you’ll pay for the policy.
A dental insurance plan works much the same way as a health insurance plan. In many cases, you’ll have to pay for the treatment up front, and then get your money back once you file a claim for it, however plans do vary.
Dental Insurance Terms to Know When Shopping for a Plan
Deductible amount – The minimum amount that has to be paid from your own pocket before the insurance kicks in. For example, if the deductible on a plan is $200, then you will have to pay $200 from your own pocket before the insurance company starts paying your dental bills.
Co-Insurance – Once the deductible has been met, the insurance will cover part of the bill, and the patient will be responsible for paying the rest. The amount that the patient pays of the final bill is known as co-insurance. For example, if a plan has 20% co-insurance, it means that after your deductible is met, for the remainder of the year you’ll pay 20% of your dental bills and the insurance company will pay 80%.
Maximum amount of coverage – Once the deductible has been met and you are paying the co-insurance, another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the maximum coverage on every insurance policy. You will find that most of the insurance policies list a maximum coverage per year. This maximum usually ranges from $750 to $2,000 every year. The more costly the insurance policy is, the higher will be the yearly maximum.
Waiting period of time – In most of the dental insurance plans, there is a definite time period to which the patient should wait before doing any important work. The waiting time period to do any dental work can range between 6 to 12 months in case of standard work, and 2 years for the removal of a tooth.
It is advisable that before you choose a dental insurance policy, you do the necessary calculations so that you get to know the cost for the coverage and the amount of coverage you would get every year. In case the insurance coverage does not beat the cost in a year, then you should not purchase the plan in question. If that turns out to be the case for your family, you might consider a dental discount plan rather than traditional dental insurance.
Alfred Smith is from New Jersey and writes for several finance websites.
Like what you've read? We pack some of our best insider know-how and savviest strategies into our free weekly emails.
Subscribe today and let us help you live a healthy, happy financial life.