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We’ve searched around the Gem State for the best companies for dental insurance in Idaho. Check out our list to get the best company for your needs.
The Best Dental Insurance in Idaho:
- Best Overall in Idaho: Guardian
- Cheapest Dental Insurance in Idaho: Nationwide
- Best for Annual Maximum Benefits: UnitedHealthcare
- Best for Families: Humana
- Best for Freedom of Choice: Spirit Dental and Vision
Types of Dental Coverage
When you’re selecting a dental insurance plan, it can become a confusing process. You have to consider your budget to decide how much you want to pay in premiums and deductibles. It’s also important to decide on the levels of coverage you and your family may need. Types of dental plans include:
- Dental health maintenance organizations: Dentists in a DHMO are paid an amount for every patient assigned to him or her. Dentists agree to provide service at lower or no costs to patients. Patients must receive services at their assigned dentist office to use dental insurance benefits.
- Preferred provider organization: A PPO plan offers a network of dentists who deliver services for set fees. Out-of-network dentists will charge fees that often are higher than the network’s allowance.
- Indemnity plans: This type of plan is considered traditional insurance. Your dental procedures are paid for based on claims. You can choose your own dentist with a traditional plan, but it also may be paired with a PPO. Most of these plans have an annual maximum allowance. If you exceed the allowance, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
- Direct reimbursement: With this type of plan, your benefits are determined by the dollar amount you spend on treatments. You can go to the dentist you choose, pay for dental services yourself, and are reimbursed by the insurance company after you show proof of payment for services received.
- Discount plans: Discount plans aren’t insurance, but offer discounts usually ranging from 10% – 60% off services. Dentists in the network agree to discount fees and patients pay all of the costs. These plans, usually purchased by individuals, are growing in popularity as more companies are offering these plans to employees.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Most plans follow a 100-80-50 coverage and cover 100% of preventive care, 80% of basic procedures and 50% of major procedures.
Typically, dental insurance policies cover a percentage of preventive care, fillings, crowns and oral surgery such as having a tooth pulled and root canals. Usually, 2 dental visits that include cleanings are covered under the plans each year.
Most plans have a maximum amount they pay for your services each year. That year may not be a calendar year but is measured by when your plan started, often called a benefit year.
Many affordable dental insurance plans have maximums of $1,500 or less per year. That means if you need major dental work, such as oral surgery, a root canal or extractions, it won’t take long to reach the maximum. In that case, you will be required to pay out of pocket for services that surpass the maximum amount.
Some plans also have a waiting period for certain services, usually more expensive ones. That way, patients can’t enroll, max out their annual services and then cancel the plan.
What Does Dental Insurance not Cover?
Dental plans are designed to cover only a portion of your dental treatments and procedures, so no plan will cover all dental expenses.
All plans have limitations, such as the number of times you can visit your dentist for a cleaning and X-rays each year. Other limitations typically include:
- Select procedures: Treatment options are different for each plan, some dental plans likely will not cover orthodontia, including braces and other devices to straighten, align and close gaps in the teeth.
- Cosmetic procedures: Coverage for cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, crowns and gum grafts may not be covered.
- Preexisting conditions: Missing teeth could be among preexisting conditions that your dental insurance may not cover. Conditions you had before getting your dental plan may disqualify you from getting treatment. That means you will have to pay out of pocket to get those treatments.
Average Cost of Dental Insurance in Idaho
The cost for dental insurance in Idaho can range from about $19 to about $55 per month for an individual plan. Costs can vary for a family plan depending on the number of family members and their ages. Family plans start at about $115 per month.
What to Look for in a Dental Provider
It’s important to make a good decision when you’re searching for a new dental provider. After all, this is the person you are putting in charge of taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums. Here are some tips you can use to help you make a solid selection:
Ask for Referrals
Your relatives, friends, neighbors and community members may be the best resources for finding a good dental provider. Trust their opinions, recommendations and experiences with a provider. You also can find a list of local professionals through professional associations such as the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry or a local association such as the Idaho State Dental Association.
Review Your Dental Plan Benefits
You can narrow your search by examining what your dental plan offers. Your choice may be limited to dentists who are in your plan’s network. You may choose an out-of-network provider, but treatments, procedures and co-pays might cost more.
Consider Location and Hours
Think about how close you want your dental provider to be. Do you want a dentist near your home, work or children’s day care provider? Do you want Saturday, early morning or late evening appointments? Call to ask questions or check the practice’s website.
Go for a Consultation
One of the best ways to decide on a provider is to schedule an in-person consultation. That way, you can determine if you like the staff, facilities and your dentist. You will get to see how clean the office is, how modern the equipment is, and how you are treated. Remember to ask about the consultation price so you don’t end up with a surprising bill for your effort.
Evaluate Your Experience
Think about whether staff and dentist were courteous, respectful and patient. Were you taken care of? Was the office child friendly? Was your medical information treated with care? Were you emailed forms you could complete in advance to save time and energy? Was it easy and convenient to park?
Best Dental Insurance Providers in Idaho
You want to protect your oral health and your wallet with dental plan coverage. We’ve explored the best dental insurance providers in Idaho and have selected some of the best providers.
1. Guardian: Best Overall
The Guardian Dental Advantage Gold plan is best for people who want maximum coverage. The plan covers 100% of cleanings, oral examinations, X-rays and 70% of moderately complex services such as crowns, extractions and oral surgery.
It offers an annual maximum benefit of $1,000 for the first year but increases after that. You don’t have to pay a deductible if you remain in-network. The plan also offers 35% savings for procedures and treatments for in-network dentists. The Gold plan starts at $42.80 per month for individuals, but if you don’t need maximum coverage, Guardian offers other plans starting at about $20 per month.
2. Nationwide: Cheapest Dental Insurance in Idaho
It may be true that you get what you pay for, but Nationwide’s Multiflex Dental Advantage plan offers coverage starting at $19.71 for an individual plan and might be a great deal for you.
It’s designed for people who know they don’t need more than cleaning and preventive care because its annual maximum is only $300 per year.
The DPPO plan has no waiting, deductible or annual out-of-pocket limitations and gives discounts on oral surgery, extractions and restorative dental services such as fillings.
3. UnitedHealthcare: Best for Annual Maximum Benefit
Other carriers offer a maximum benefit as low as $300 per year. United Healthcare’s Premier Max DPPO plans give an annual maximum benefit of $3,000 annually. The monthly premium starts at $55.12. It’s a great deal for an individual who needs extensive dental work.
The plan has a $50 deductible, but that can be waived. It covers 50% of oral surgery after a 12-month waiting period, extractions, root canals, crowns and dentures. Other services have up to 50% coinsurance with some waiting periods. The percentage of coinsurance reduces each year on these services and could go as low as 20% after the 2nd plan year.
4. Humana: Best for Families
Humana’s Loyalty Plus plan works well for families because it offers lifetime deductibles. You pay $150 for an individual or $450 for a family and you’ll never have to pay again as long as you’re a plan member. That benefit alone could save you thousands of dollars.
Besides that, the plan offers a $1,000 – $1,500 annual maximum benefit, which is higher than many plans. Basic cleanings are free for the first 2 years and so are topical fluoride treatments for children 14 and younger. The treatments are limited to 2 per year.
5. Spirit Dental and Vision: Best for Freedom of Choice
Spirit Dental and Vision’s Spirit Choice Plan offers the opportunity for you to choose any dentist you want to visit. But not only that, the fee-for-service plan allows you to choose your annual maximum benefit ranging from $750 to $1,250. The plan includes 3 dental cleanings and 2 exams each year. You pay a 1-time $100 deductible.
Preventive care, implants and major services are covered with the plan. The policy usually covers varying percentages of usual expenses, while reimbursements depend on the provider you choose. Perhaps the most beneficial is the plan’s 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee.
Protect Your Smile and Your Budget
While you’re searching for dental insurance, take your time to find an affordable quality dental insurance plan. Don’t be so hasty that you fail to shop around. Do some reading and really look for the benefits in a plan that will best fit your needs and your budget.
Be sure to read the fine print and make sure you understand the annual deductible, maximum annual benefits and coinsurance payments.
Finally, make sure you note initial enrollment fees, waiting periods, limitations and exceptions in your plan so you don’t get an unexpectedly large dental bill.
Frequently Asked Questions
A dental insurance plan charges a premium in exchange for covered benefits. Unlike health insurance plans, dental insurance plans usually have a cap on benefits, which means your plan may stop providing coverage once you reach the annual cap, often between 1k and 3K. Like other types of healthcare insurance, dental insurance focuses coverage on essential services, like cleanings, fillings, etc. Many plans don’t cover braces or elective cosmetic procedures. Get the cheapest premium here.
Some health insurance plans bundle dental coverage as well but, in many cases, dental insurance is a separate plan. Healthcare plans that are ACA-compliant are required to offer dental coverage to children but there is no requirement that adults have dental insurance coverage. Choosing a separate dental insurance plan can be a cost-saving step and helps make dental health costs more predictable. Check out our best providers for the cheapest rate.
Your choices for dental insurance plans are similar to health insurance choices. You can choose from a dental HMO, which helps to keep premium costs low by keeping services within controlled network. Dental PPOs give more freedom to choose your dentist and care but cost more than HMO plans. A third option is called a dental indemnity plan, which pays a fixed amount or percentage for covered services. Compare quotes from our top providers for the best price.
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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