In the US, 50.2% of adults who have private health insurance also have dental care coverage. This makes dental work very affordable, especially if you often have issues with your teeth and gums.

But what if you’re in the other half of adults who don’t have dental insurance? Then you might feel financially strained each time you book an appointment.

While dental insurance isn’t required by law, it can be a good idea to get coverage.

So how can you find the best dental insurance for you and your family? Read on to find out!

Understand the Types of Plans Available

First of all, before you go out searching for dental insurance plans, you should know that there are different types. By knowing what they are and what they give you, you’ll be able to better select one that’s right for your household.

Below are the common types of dental insurance plans you’ll find.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Like with health insurance, PPO plans are available. This means you can choose dentists who have opted into charging lower rates for agreed-upon services.

For those looking for affordable dental insurance, this is a good route to take. You’ll pay significantly reduced fees if you go with a dentist that’s opted in.

If you choose an out-of-network dentist, none of the fees will be covered by your insurance plan at all. So the smartest thing would be to stick to the list if you go with a PPO plan.

Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)

Here’s another type of insurance that general health insurance has as well: DHMO (or HMO for health insurance). This type is best for those who need cheap dental insurance.

DHMO is very similar to PPO because you need to use in-network dentists to get reduced costs. However, DHMO networks are much smaller than PPO ones, so it might be tough to find a dentist. But that hard work will pay off since you’ll enjoy some of the lowest dental insurance rates.

Managed Fee-for-Service Plan

Again, this is another plan that’s very similar to the PPO one. It’s also known as indemnity or traditional plans.

The difference is that you’ll benefit from a much larger network when you used a managed fee-for-service plan. Otherwise, you’ll still pay a certain percentage when going to dental appointments and the insurance premium you pay will cover the rest. The exact percentage will depend on which type of service you receive.

Discount Plan

If you’re looking for something simple, then you’ll want to consider a discount plan. It’s not technically insurance since you don’t have to fill out any paperwork.

Instead, you’ll get a list of dentists who charge discounted fees. You pay the dentists directly when you go to your appointment and that’s it!

When compared to PPO and managed fee-for-service plans, a discount plan is cheaper. They’re not necessarily cheaper than a DHMO plan though.

Not All Plans Are Available Everywhere

Now that you know a little more about the types of dental insurance plans, you might have your heart set on one already. However, we do have some bad news for you: not every region offers all 4 types.

What you’ll need to do is contact your local insurance agencies to inquire about which types of insurance plans are available. Once you’ve got a general idea, you can then narrow down your selection.

You Can Save With Family Plans

If you were on the fence about getting individual vs family plans, we’re here to tell you that most insurance companies will give you a nice discount if you subscribe to a family plan with them.

While it might seem like a good chunk of change to pay every month, you should sit down and calculate it out. In most cases, it’ll be worth it to put everyone on a family dental plan rather than leave a person or two out. This is especially true when you consider that fact that you can’t predict dental needs and emergencies!

Check the Coverage Carefully

Not all dental insurance plans are made equally. Not only do they cover different dentists, but also services.

So take some time to read the fine print. For example, if you’re getting dental insurance for seniors, most plans do cover dentures and dental implants. However, you’ll have to wait until the 2nd year to get benefits that cover up to 50% of their costs.

The best dental insurance policies should outline what they cover clearly and should be what your family needs the most.

Go With the Bigger Names

When in doubt, you should go with the bigger insurance names. They include:

  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Renaissance
  • Delta

The above companies have the most experience and number of customers, which means they’ll be well-equipped to handle any questions or concerns you have. Plus, they’ll have streamlined their processes for a smoother experience.

If after reading the above, you still don’t know if you can afford dental insurance, not to worry. Boise Family Dental Care has some great information on what to do if you don’t have insurance:

Get the Best Dental Insurance Possible

Now you know about the types of dental insurance you can get, as well as what to consider before you take the plunge. By being educated and doing thorough research, you’ll be able to get the best dental insurance for not just your family’s health, but also your bank account.

So remember the information you’ve learned in this article when you’re on the search for dental insurance. It might just help you avoid hefty premiums and frustrating situations!

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