Best Hawaii Dental Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 10, 2022

Did you know most of our readers prefer for their dental insurance needs?

You probably never get tired of Hawaii’s beautiful tropics — but you might get tired of shopping around for dental insurance. We’ll take the guesswork out of the equation and provide you with the best Hawaii dental insurance has to offer.

Quick Look: The Best Dental Insurance in Hawaii

Best Hawaii Dental Insurance

We carefully researched the top dental insurers in Hawaii for different needs. Here’s how to determine the best dental insurance for you — and whether it fits into your budget. Check them out below.

1. Nationwide

Nationwide is one of the largest insurance providers in the country — largely because it offers a good range of dental plans.

Choose from a variety of plans to meet any budget or coverage needs. Most of Nationwide’s dental plans are affordable and offer coverage for most dental procedures. Many plans also come with sliding waiting periods and shorter periods for less expensive procedures.

2. Hawaii Medical Service Association

Look no further than the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) for affordable dental insurance in Hawaii. The HMSA is a division of the BlueCross BlueShield network.

This means the company has the backing of 1 of the largest insurance networks in the country. Its basic level plan starts at $17.20 per month.

3. UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance provider network. The company carries its expertise into dental insurance with plenty of affordable plan options.

Many of UnitedHealthCare’s plans in Hawaii offer unmatched annual maximums at a great price. Some plans carry an annual benefit maximum of $3,000 — twice the normal amount, which is usually $1,500.

4. Ameritas

Ameritas dental insurance plans often offer vision benefits, too. You can pay 1 monthly premium for both your dental and vision coverage.

Ameritas plans also come with a dental rewards program to carry over a portion of your annual maximum benefit into the next year. Ameritas has a large nationwide network of dentists and eye doctors.

5. Delta Dental

Delta Dental covers millions of families across the country. Its Hawaii dental division provides several basic plan options that meet almost any need.

Choose a simple plan for routine care at an affordable price. Delta Dental also offers a more comprehensive plan that includes some coverage for children’s orthodontics.

Types of Dental Coverage

Dental insurance, like health insurance, usually offers several different types of plan coverage. There are 3 main types of dental insurance plans:

  1. Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans
  2. Dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) plans
  3. Dental discount plans

The different types of dental coverage determine how much you pay for dental procedures in Hawaii. Plan types also tell you what kind of limitations your plan may have.

Dental PPO Plans

Dental PPO plans consist of a network of dentists that contract with your insurance provider to offer dental services. Rates for treatments and procedures are usually discounted if you visit a dentist in the network. You’ll probably need to pay a deductible, coinsurance and may have an annual maximum benefit.

  • Deductible: The dollar amount you have to pay out of pocket before your dental insurance benefits begin.
  • Coinsurance: The percentage amount you’re required to cover for a dental service. For example, your insurance provider may pay 80% for a dental cleaning. You pay the remaining 20%.
  • Annual maximum: This is the maximum dollar amount of dental benefits you can receive per year. Many dental plans’ maximums range from $1,000–$1,500.

The upside to a PPO plan is you can visit any dentist without restrictions — you’ll still qualify for dental benefits if you visit a dentist outside of your network.

The downsides of PPO plans include reduced benefits for out-of-network dentists and higher premiums. Premiums are the amount you have to pay for your coverage. You may have to file your own insurance claim for an out-of-network dentist visit as well.

Dental Health Maintenance Organization Plans

Unlike a PPO plan, a DHMO plan doesn’t usually require a deductible or coinsurance. You also probably won’t have annual maximums. You might have to pay a copayment for services. A copayment is similar to coinsurance, but instead of a percentage, it’s a fixed price for a service. For example, you may have to pay $20 for a $100 service, and your DHMO plan pays the remaining $80.

The biggest advantage of a DHMO plan is the reduced costs for premiums, as well as lack of deductibles and annual maximums. The drawback, however, is the plan requires you to choose a primary in-network dentist or oral health facility. You may have to pay the entire bill yourself if you visit a dentist other than your primary facility. You might also need a referral from your primary dentist to see a specialist like an oral surgeon.

Dental Discount Plans

A dental discount plan isn’t an insurance plan at all. Even so, it can still help you save on dental costs. You pay for a dental discount plan monthly or annually and receive discounted prices on dental services for in-network dentists.

There is no deductible and no annual maximums. Instead of paying coinsurance or copay, you pay the entire amount of your dental services. You save money by getting a discounted rate on dental procedures based on the relationship between your discount plan provider and your dentist. You’ll need to visit a dentist within the discount plan network to receive the discounted rates on procedures.

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

Dental insurance provides coverage for a variety of procedures, but each plan covers different services. Be sure to carefully check with a provider to see if it has a plan that covers the services you need.

Most dental plans cover basic routine dental care as well as more advanced procedures. Most coverage includes:

  • Routine checkups
  • Regular cleanings
  • X-rays
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Tooth extraction
  • Root canals

It’s common for a dental plan to cover preventive care and services in full. This means you may not have to pay anything for a cleaning once or twice a year.

Keep in mind that many plans follow a sliding scale for coverage. The most common type of policies offer 100-80-50 coverage. The numbers represent the percentage your provider pays for services.

  • 100: Your insurance pays for 100% of the dental procedure. This is limited to preventive care, such as yearly X-rays, regular cleanings or annual checkups.
  • 80: Your dental plan covers 80% of the procedure — you must cover the remaining 20%. Services in this range include procedures such as root canals or fillings.
  • 50: You and your insurance both pay 50% of the procedure. Coverage includes major procedures like crowns or bridges.

Your policy may not have a 100-80-50 coverage scale. It may also offer different coverage amounts for certain services like oral surgery. Check your potential insurance plan carefully to see what is covered and how much coverage your provider offers.

What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover? 

Dental insurance covers a lot of common procedures in some capacity but there are certain items that are almost never covered. You can generally expect to pay out of pocket for:

  • Cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening
  • Adult orthodontia, such as braces
  • Major preexisting conditions or oral health issues you had before you got insurance

You also may have to go through a waiting period before you can use any of your dental benefits. Waiting periods are a set amount of days or months from the time you start your dental plan until you can use the benefits. Your insurance won’t cover regular procedures during the waiting period.

Most plans offer a 6-month waiting period. Some plans have no waiting period and you can use your full benefits on day 1. Many plans waive waiting periods for preventive coverage, such as teeth cleanings or annual checkups. A waiting period keeps people from signing up for insurance and immediately using the benefits for expensive surgeries or oral procedures.

What is and isn’t covered varies between policies. Ask providers about any specific procedures you wish to have covered to find a plan in Hawaii that’s right for you.

Average Cost of Dental Insurance in Hawaii

The cost of dental insurance for an adult is, on average, about $350 per year. The cost of dental insurance can vary based on your age, location, gender and the type of coverage you need.

The cost of living in Hawaii is higher than anywhere else in the country. Most dental insurance plans are higher than average as well. Plans for 1 adult in his or her 20s range from around $20 per month to more than $70 per month, or between $240–$840 per year.

The level of coverage makes a big difference in the amount you’ll pay for dental insurance in Hawaii. Typically, a plan with a low annual maximum and high deductible has a lower monthly premium. On the other hand, you’ll likely have a higher annual maximum, lower deductible and more coverage if you pay a higher monthly cost.

You may also be able to lower your Hawaii dental insurance costs through discounts. Discounts are less common for dental insurance than other types of insurance, but you can usually still find some discounts, such as:

  • Combined vision and dental insurance coverage
  • Military discounts for active-duty personnel or veterans
  • Senior discounts for older adults

Ask any potential providers if there are discounts available and whether you qualify.

What to Look for in a Dental Provider

Find a good balance between cost and coverage so you know what coverage is best for you. Make sure to choose a dental provider that meets these criteria:

  • Financial stability and longevity to pay claims in the future
  • Access to customer service via numerous channels such as social media, phone, email, chat or mail
  • Available discounts are advertised and offered when you sign up for a plan
  • Positive 3rd-party ratings and customer reviews 

Dental Insurance in Hawaii

It can be difficult to choose a dental insurance plan for your family. Be sure to outline what coverage you need and what your monthly budget can withstand before you pick a plan. Get a few different quotes from various Hawaii dental insurers and choose a plan today.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does dental insurance cover braces?


Dental insurance might cover braces, but you should check the policy to learn what is specifically covered.


Does dental insurance cover dentures?


Dental insurance might cover dentures, but you should check your policy to ensure that all types like dentures, crowns, caps and bridges are covered.

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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