Everyone knows that if you want to have healthy teeth, you need to visit your dentist at least twice per year. What many Americans don’t know, however, is that dental care isn’t included under most health insurance plans. To protect your smile, you’ll need to buy a separate dental insurance plan — complete with its own terms and deductible. But how exactly does dental insurance work and which plan provider should you choose?
Today, we’re taking a closer look at dental insurance in New Hampshire. We’ll give you a quick crash course in what is (and isn’t) covered by dental insurance as well as what you can expect to pay. Finally, we’ll introduce you to some of our favorite dental insurance companies offering plans in the Granite State.
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The Best Dental Insurance in New Hampshire is:
- UnitedHealthcare: Best Overall
- Humana: Cheapest
- Cigna: Best for In-Network Choices
- Guardian Direct: Best for Quick Quotes
- Ameritas: Best for Orthodontic Coverage
- The Best Dental Insurance in New Hampshire is:
- Types of Dental Coverage
- What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
- What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover?
- Average Cost of Dental Insurance in New Hampshire
- What to Look for in a Dental Insurance Provider
- Best Dental Insurance Providers in NH
- Smiling Brighter with Great Coverage
- Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Dental Coverage
When you compare dental insurance plans, you might see multiple plans offered from a single insurance company. Understanding the differences among dental insurance plans can help you choose the type of plan that’s best for you.
There are 2 main types of dental insurance plans:
- Dental health maintenance organizations (DHMOs): A DHMO is similar to a health insurance HMO. When you sign onto a DHMO, you’ll need to choose a dental service provider from a pre-approved list of in-network practices. If you go outside of your network, you cannot use your benefits. DHMOs are usually the most affordable option, but they also offer you the least amount of freedom to choose your dentist.
- Preferred provider organizations (PPOs): PPOs allow you to see any dentist or dental service provider you like and still use your benefits. You may be able to get an additional discount on your service or premium if you do see an in-network provider. PPOs are more expensive than DHMOs, but they’re a good choice if you want to see a particular dentist.
Occasionally, you might see an insurance provider offering another type of plan called a “benefit,” “discount” or “referral” plan. These plans aren’t technically insurance because they don’t cover any of your treatment costs. Instead, they function as a subscription-type model that gives you a discount on dental services when you visit certain providers. For the sake of this article, we won’t consider these plans in our review.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Unlike health insurance providers, dental insurance providers don’t have a set list of benefits that they must offer their policyholders. Dental insurance companies are free to include or exclude almost any service or procedure from plans. This makes reading and understanding your benefits crucially important. The last thing you want is to sign onto a plan, pay months of premiums and then find out you aren’t as protected as you thought you were when you need to use your benefits.
Most dental insurance plans follow a “100-80-50” benefits schedule. If you have a 100-80-50 plan, it means that your insurance provider will pay for:
- 100% of preventive care costs. Preventive care includes treatments like cleanings, x-rays and exams.
- 80% of basic procedure costs. Basic procedures include things like root canals, cavity fillings and crowns.
- 50% of major procedure costs. Major procedures include things like tooth extractions, bridges and denture molds.
Every individual company can choose what counts as a preventive, basic and major procedure. For example, some insurance companies consider root canals to be basic procedures, while others consider them major procedures. The best dental insurance plans will clearly tell you which procedures fall into which categories before you sign onto a plan.
What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover?
There are a few services and procedures that aren’t covered by any type of dental insurance plan. You’ll likely see exclusions for the following treatment areas:
- Preexisting conditions: Health insurance companies must cover preexisting conditions as a requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, dental insurance providers don’t have to follow the same standard. If you already have a dental or oral health issue, you can expect your dental insurance provider to limit your coverage in that area.
- Orthodontia: Orthodontic treatments like braces and headgear are often deemed medically necessary by dental professionals. Despite this, most dental insurance plans don’t include any type of coverage for orthodontia.
- Cosmetic treatments: No dental insurance plan offers coverage for treatments that aren’t medically necessary. Treatments like cosmetic veneers and teeth whitening won’t be included in your list of dental plan benefits.
Average Cost of Dental Insurance in New Hampshire
The average cost of dental insurance in New Hampshire is similar to average costs throughout the U.S. Individuals can expect to pay between $30 and $45 per month for their plan.
What to Look for in a Dental Insurance Provider
Some dental insurance plans are better than others. When you compare plans, look for these key characteristics to get the most for your money:
- A high annual maximum: Almost every dental insurance plan includes an annual maximum benefit limit that you can claim. If you hit your maximum, you’ll need to cover the remainder of your care costs. Look for a plan with a high annual maximum.
- Coverage available in your area: Not every dental insurance provider can offer plans in every state. Before you start comparing plan benefits, make sure the insurance provider you’re considering offers plans in New Hampshire.
- An affordable deductible: Your plan deductible is the amount of money you need to spend on your own dental care before your insurance kicks in and starts covering your bills. Choose a plan with a deductible you can afford to help you avoid future financial strain.
Best Dental Insurance Providers in NH
Now that you understand the basics of how dental insurance works, let’s take a look at some of our favorite insurance providers.
1. UnitedHealthcare: Best Overall
UnitedHealthcare is one of the largest health insurance providers in the country — but did you know that it also offers comprehensive dental insurance as well? UnitedHealthcare offers a wide range of dental insurance plans throughout New Hampshire, allowing you to adjust your maximum and deductible to fit your family’s budgets.
All of its plans include $0 deductibles and no waiting periods for preventive care, and plans are available from as little as $20 per month. With affordable coverage options and a fit for every family’s needs, UnitedHealthcare is our top choice for dental insurance in New Hampshire.
2. Humana: Cheapest Dental Insurance
Looking for the most affordable dental insurance in New Hampshire? Be sure to get a quote from Humana. In our review, Humana offers some of the lowest rates in the state, with PPO plans available from just $19 per month.
Its incredibly affordable plans also include very low deductibles — just $50 for individuals and $150 for families. Both affordable and inclusive, Humana should be one of your first stops when you’re shopping for insurance on a budget.
3. Cigna: Best for In-Network Coverage Choices
If you’re looking for affordable insurance, a DHMO plan will almost always fit into your budget better than a PPO. Unfortunately, signing onto a DHMO also means finding a dentist near you who’s in your plan’s network. If you’re looking for a DHMO plan without the hassle of endlessly comparing dental service providers, consider Cigna.
Cigna’s national network contains over 90,000 unique dentists, and its 24/7 customer service line is always available to help you find a service provider accepting new patients. Its plans are also incredibly inclusive, covering 100% of preventive care. Many plans also include coverage for orthodontics as well.
4. Guardian Direct: Best for Quick Quotes
Sometimes, you need coverage fast — and you can’t afford to wait on the phone with a representative for an hour just to see how much you’ll pay for insurance. Guardian Direct offers incredibly fast quotes and allows you to sign onto a plan the same day.
Just enter your ZIP code, enter information on who you want on your plan and get your quote. Plans from Guardian Direct are also exceptionally affordable, starting at just $26 per month for PPO coverage.
5. Ameritas Best for Orthodontics Coverage
Though most dental plans don’t cover orthodontics, it is possible to come across a rare insurance provider who does offer coverage for these treatments. Ameritas is one of the only dental insurance providers in New Hampshire that offers orthodontics coverage.
Plans with orthodontic benefits start from just $50 per month, and many of its plans also include up to $2,000 worth of benefits annually. Its plans also have no waiting periods or enrollment fees, and many include PPO coverage.
Smiling Brighter with Great Coverage
Getting the dental insurance you need doesn’t have to be a hassle. Many dental insurance companies now allow you to quickly get a quote online, and you can compare a number of plan choices in as little as an afternoon. Try to collect at least 5 quotes before you choose a plan — this will ensure that you’re getting the best coverage possible and not overpaying for your benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How does dental insurance work?
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.
2) Q: Is dental coverage part of health insurance?
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.
3) Q: What kinds of dental insurance are available?
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.