Want to keep dental costs down? Of course you do. Dental insurance in Utah can help cover the cost of dental treatments for you and your family.
Read on to learn more about dental coverage in Utah, including what is and isn’t covered. We’ll also show you the cost of dental insurance and give you our picks for the best dental insurance companies in Utah.
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Quick Look: Best Utah Dental Insurance
- Delta Dental: Best Overall
- Humana: Cheapest
- Vantage Point: Best for Orthodontic Care
- Renaissance: Best for No Waiting Period
- UnitedHealthcare: Best for High Annual Maximums
Types of Dental Coverage
There are several types of dental insurance in Utah. You can choose from 2 types of dental coverage and a 3rd option, called a dental savings plan.
All 3 dental coverage options use a dental provider network to help you save money. Dental provider networks are groups of dentists who have agreed to work with your insurance company. The dental insurance company contracts with these dentists to perform services or treatments at an agreed price or discount.
In addition to dental savings plans, the 2 dental insurance types are:
- Dental preferred provider organization (PPO)
- Dental health management organization (DHMO)
Dental Preferred Provider Organization
You may have heard of a PPO health insurance plan. Dental PPO plans are similar. Your insurance company gives you a list of dentists within your dental network. Your treatments will have a lower cost if you choose to visit an in-network dentist. Your insurance still covers out-of-network dentists, but you will probably pay a higher price.
Dental PPO plans are the most popular type of dental coverage but they often include restrictions:
- Deductibles: A deductible is the dollar amount you have to pay before your insurance benefits take effect. Many dental PPO plans have deductibles around $50 per person. Your deductible resets each year, so if you meet it this year, you will have to pay again for treatments next year.
- Waiting period: Many dental PPO plans require you to wait a certain amount of time before using more expensive services. Waiting periods are usually waived for preventive services like routine teeth cleaning.
- Maximum benefit: The maximum benefit, or annual maximum, is the total amount of dental services your insurance will cover in a year. Once you reach this maximum, the insurance company requires you to pay out of pocket for dental treatments. A common maximum benefit is between $1,000–$1,500.
- Coinsurance: Coinsurance is a percentage amount you must pay for dental treatments. For example, you may have 80% coverage for a service. You pay 20% of the cost of treatment and your insurance covers the remaining 80% after you meet your deductible.
Dental Health Management Organization (DHMO)
Unlike dental PPO plans, DHMO plans require you to choose a primary dentist or oral health care facility for dental treatments. DHMO plans work as a contract between certain dentists and the insurance company. The insurance company pays the dentist a predetermined amount each month. The number of people enrolled in the plan determines the monthly payment amount.
You pay a set price for each service when you visit your primary dentist — a copay, this works similar to coinsurance for PPO plans. Instead of a percentage of the service, however, you pay a fixed price. For example, let’s say a certain treatment costs $100. You have a $20 copay, and your insurance company covers the remaining $80.
Most DHMO plans don’t have deductibles, waiting periods or annual maximums. Premiums, or the amount you pay to have the insurance plan, tend to be less expensive for DHMO plans. You may have to cover the entire cost of the service out of pocket if you visit a dentist outside the DHMO network.
Dental Discount Plans
Discount plans aren’t a type of insurance. Instead of paying a premium for an insurance plan, you pay a fee to have your dental discount plan. There are no waiting periods, coinsurance or copays or deductibles because discount plans aren’t insurance.
You pay the total amount of services out of pocket when you visit an in-network dentist. The cost is reduced to a certain amount based on the agreement between the dentist and your discount plan company.
Let’s say you go to the dentist for a $100 service. Your discount plan gives you a 20% savings off the cost of that service. You pay $80 instead of $100.
How to Choose a Dental Coverage Type in Utah
Consider your budget and coverage needs to find the type of coverage that’s best for you. You may want to pick a PPO plan for the flexibility to visit different dentists or choose a DHMO plan for affordable dental insurance without deductibles or waiting periods. Be aware that a DHMO plan may require you to receive a referral from your primary dentist in order to visit a specialist.
Dental discount plans can also be a good choice if you need to have major dental treatments in the near future. You may be able to save on the cost of major surgery or procedure, especially because there’s no waiting period.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Dental insurance plans are all different. Your plan may cover certain treatments but a similar plan does not. Carefully read any dental insurance policies before you sign up.
There are many services and treatments that are commonly covered. Almost all plans cover preventive treatments like teeth cleaning or X-rays. Commonly covered procedures include:
- Teeth cleaning
- Annual checkups
- Root canals
The amount you have to pay for each treatment varies greatly between plans. Many plans follow a 100-80-50 coverage scale. The numbers refer to the percentage of dental service your insurance covers.
- 100: The plan covers 100% of the cost of preventive services. This usually includes 2 teeth cleanings per year and annual exams.
- 80: Insurance pays for 80% of basic procedures such as root canals, fillings and other simple treatments.
- 50: The final coverage level pays for 50% of major dental procedures, such as crowns or bridges.
What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover?
As with the treatments that are covered by dental insurance, what isn’t covered can vary between plans. Most plans, exclude certain treatments or procedures, such as:
- Cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening
- Coverage of major preexisting conditions
- Adult orthodontia (braces)
You can find plans that cover these services. It’s important to read your proposed plan and ask your dental insurance company what is specifically excluded from coverage under your plan.
Average Cost of Dental Insurance in Utah
The cost of dental insurance in Utah is generally just above average. The national average cost of dental insurance is about $350 per year or just over $29 per month.
Utah dental insurance plans range from as low as $18 a month to over $70 a month. The average cost range is between $30–$50.
You may be able to get a discount on your dental and vision insurance when you choose a plan that covers both.
What to Look for in a Dental Provider
The cost of dental insurance can add up, but it’s important to look at more than just cost when you pick an insurance company. Once you find a plan that fits your budget and coverage needs, ask yourself these questions to help determine if the company is a good fit:
- Is it easy to reach customer service through multiple channels, like social media, email, phone and chat?
- Are customer service representatives friendly and helpful?
- Does the company have a history of paying for dental claims?
- Is my dentist a part of this company’s dental network?
Best Dental Insurance Providers in Utah
Not every dental insurance company is the right fit for everyone in Utah. To make sure you get the best dental insurance, consider the different options. We put together some of the best choices depending on your different coverage needs.
1. Delta Dental: Best Overall
Delta Dental serves millions of people across the country and provides family and individual plans in Utah.
Its plan options are affordable compared to other providers in Utah and the mix of coverage level, affordability and Delta’s wide provider network make it a great choice for dental insurance.
2. Humana: Cheapest Dental Insurance in Utah
Humana is often a great choice for affordable dental insurance and offers the lowest price for basic coverage in Utah.
The plan is $17.99 per month and covers preventive treatments as well as some basic procedures like tooth extraction. You’ll pay a deductible, but there is no waiting period and no annual maximum.
3. Vantage Point Dental and Vision Plans: Best for Orthodontia Coverage
Most dental insurance plans don’t offer coverage for braces or other orthodontic services to adults. Vantage Point plans are a welcome exception if you’re in need of orthodontic work.
Orthodontia isn’t covered like other procedures but Vantage Point plans offer a discount on services. You could save between 15%–25% on the cost of braces when you visit an in-network orthodontist.
4. Renaissance Dental: Best for No Waiting Periods
Renaissance Dental offers several plans with no waiting periods. You may have to pay a higher premium in order to make the most of this benefit. However, the cost could be well worth it if you need dental services fast.
The annual maximum for Renaissance plans is also often higher than other insurance companies in Utah.
5. UnitedHealthcare: Best for High Annual Maximums
No company comes close to UnitedHealthcare and its options for up to $3,000 in annual benefits per year. A UnitedHealthcare dental plan can be a great choice if you need a lot of dental work. UnitedHealthcare also happens to be one of the largest health insurance companies in the country.
You can feel confident the company has the resources to pay dental claims and can provide quick customer service.
Dental Insurance in Utah
Consider you and your family’s needs and choose the right dental insurance plan. A family plan with low deductible could be the right choice if you need a high level of coverage for a large family. On the other hand, if you’re single and have good oral health, a basic preventive plan could help you save the most on dental treatments.
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.