Quick Look: The Best Alabama Dental Insurance
Got a toothache in Sweet Home Alabama? Several companies in Alabama offer affordable dental insurance. Benzinga has reviewed the best dental insurance plans to help you get the treatment and care you need in Alabama.
Best Dental Insurance Providers in Alabama
There’s no “one size fits all” dental insurance in Alabama. Get quotes from the following companies to learn about the best selection of services at affordable prices.
1. Delta Dental
Delta Dental carries a variety of dental insurance plans, including a PPO and an HMO plan so you can choose the coverage that best fits your needs and budget. The PPO plan features no-cost cleanings and the freedom to visit any of the 500 dentists across Alabama.
Teeth whitening services and fillings are also covered after 6 months on the plan. Root canals and crowns are covered after a year. A basic plan covers fillings and tooth extractions after 6 months if you’d rather focus your coverage on preventive care. You’ll pay a $50 annual deductible with no-cost preventive care. It includes cleanings, exams and X-rays at a little over $13 per month for individual coverage.
Nationwide is known for providing comprehensive insurance services. The company’s Multiflex Dental Insurance plan provides guaranteed acceptance for you and all qualified family members.
The Classic Plan provides a maximum calendar year benefit of $1,500 and the Select Plus plan caps the benefit at $2,000. It covers specific preventive, basic and major services.
Nationwide’s Advantage Plus dental plan pays 80% toward oral exams and cleanings, up to $300 per calendar year.
3. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama offers great options for oral surgeries and surgeries with general anesthesia. Whether in-network or outside of the network, the cost splits 50/50 — it can make paying for dental surgeries easier and more affordable.
You’ll find that there’s a 365-day waiting period for major services to go into effect. It’s $50 per enrolled member per calendar year, so BCBS takes the sting out of paying for high-cost dental surgeries.
Need dental insurance in Alabama but not expensive root canals or crowns? Ameritas is a solid option. Ameritas offers a plan that covers one check-up and cleaning per year — a great option if you take great care of your teeth. Ameritas’ Dental Rewards program could also save you money.
If you don’t use Ameritas’ coverage over a year, it rolls over any dollars you would have spent to the next year. Let’s say you had a good dental check-up this year, but next year you discover that you need a root canal. Ameritas will cover more of the cost because it’ll carry over the savings from the previous year.
DeltaPlans.com does a great job of caring for those tiny teeth. Coverage includes preventive care and X-rays. You can also add on coverage for braces if your child needs them.
Dental Plans.com might also cover other helpful oral hygiene tools such as sealants. DentalPlans also offers plans on state and government-backed insurance exchanges so it’s easy to find coverage that meets your needs and budget.
Types of Dental Coverage
You can choose from a few different types of dental coverage, including PPO, DHMO, fee-for-service and discount dental plans.
- Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans: PPOs offer a large network of dental providers — you can choose from a group of dentists. You’ll pay a cheaper rate that the dentist has agreed to accept. This percentage depends on the type of coverage. For example, you’ll pay a certain percentage for preventive services but pay a different percentage for diagnostic and major services.
- Dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) plans: DHMO dental coverage requires you to choose a dentist and dental facility for all your oral hygiene needs. Your primary care physician must refer you if you need to see a specialist. DHMO plans have no copays, deductibles or maximums. You’re responsible for the entire cost if you visit a dentist outside of the network.
- Fee-for-service dental plans: Fee-for-service plans (also known as traditional plans or indemnity plans) generally offer the largest selection of dentists. You typically pay a percentage (coinsurance) for each plan, and like with PPO plans, the percentage varies depending on the service. The difference between a fee-for-service and PPO plan is that you may pay a bit more for dental care but you’ll be able to see any dentist that accepts your insurance plan.
- Discount dental plans: This type of plan is not exactly insurance but many companies have contracts with local dentists in Alabama to provide coverage at a prenegotiated rate. These plans are generally available in the form of discount savings cards. There’s no waiting period, no deductible and no maximums and you won’t pay the same amount as a full-fledged dental insurance plan.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Dental insurance covers some portion of the cost of dental-related care and procedures, including preventive care, tooth extractions, fillings, crowns, root canals and certain oral surgeries. Some plans also cover braces and dentures.
You are advised to review the guidelines and coverages for the plans you are researching. One HMO might be better than another, and while plan categories tend to behave consistently, you never know when one HMO will be better than a PPO or vice verse.
What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover?
Dental insurance doesn’t cover certain elective or cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening or sealants. There’s usually a maximum cap on what the dental insurance will pay for certain procedures and treatments. Once you meet the cap, you are responsible for the rest. You may have time limits on certain services as well, including fillings or bridges on the same tooth, dental X-rays or fluoride treatments for children. Dental insurance also does not typically cover any preexisting conditions.
At the same time, some plans are very specific about what they do not cover, while others are not. If you are not sure what the plan doesn’t cover, you should reach out to the carrier directly for a straight answer.
Average Cost of Dental Insurance in Alabama
Individual dental insurance policies tend to cost around $45 per month. This is about $15 more than employer-sponsored plans. You’ll pay anywhere from $15–$30 per month and coverage for your family runs within the range of $27–$56 per month. It all depends on the type of coverage you want and whether you choose coverage for braces or other major dental care.
What to Look for in a Dental Provider
Check to make sure a dentist accepts your dental insurance. Learn about prospective dentists’ approach to preventive dentistry as well as their protocol for after-hours emergency services. Ask about missed appointments, policies and what general estimates would be for common procedures like fillings, X-rays and cleanings.
You should also ask the practice if they accept families and children, if they have preferred partners they can refer you to or if they have other professionals in the office. For example, many dentists may share an office with a dental surgeon or periodontist—allowing both professionals to share patients and refer with ease.
Find the Best Dental Insurance in Alabama
The right dental insurance coverage can go a long way to help you to maintain good oral hygiene. Whether you’re looking for routine cleanings and the occasional X-ray or you need more comprehensive coverage for fillings, crowns or root canals, take the time to research your options and get free quotes. There’s a dental insurance plan out there for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does dental insurance cover braces?
Yes, dental insurance can cover braces, but you need to check your policy to learn how much is paid for.
Does dental insurance require a copay?
Some dental insurance plans require a copyment at the time of service and some do not.
Dental Insurance Methodology
To determine the best dental insurance providers, we pored through all United States carriers. We winnowed the list by only including companies that have a wide coverage area and product offering. To further break down the list to the true best dental insurance providers, we gave weight to carriers that offer discounts, are available in all states and have multiple payment plan options.
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