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You have health insurance to control your medical care costs and car insurance protects your vehicle. But do you have the dental insurance you need to protect your teeth and keep your dental care costs low? Independent health insurance plans generally don’t include dental benefits. Without insurance, dental care costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars — especially if you have a dental emergency or a major oral health issue.
Dental insurance can help you visit your dentist regularly and keep your care costs low. But with so many insurance choices, how can you know that you’re choosing the right plan? We’ll take a closer look at how Ohio dental insurance works and how you can start shopping for a plan.
Quick Look: The Best Ohio Dental Insurance
- Delta Dental: Best for Cleaning & Exams
- Humana: Best for Humana Pharmacy
- Physicians Mutual
- Ameritas: Best for Adult and Child Orthodontia Benefits
- Guardian Direct: Best for Young Adults and Families With Children and Teens
Best Dental Insurance Providers in Ohio
Now that you know how dental insurance in Ohio works, let’s take a look at some of our favorite insurance companies offering dental plan in the Buckeye state.
1. Delta Dental
Delta Dental is a nonprofit organization that offers PPO dental insurance coverage to individuals, families and businesses in Ohio and beyond. Delta Dental offers 2 tiers of plans for individuals from just $23 a month in most parts of Ohio.
Delta Dental’s individual have deductibles as low as $25 a year and higher-tier plans have no deductibles at all. You can quickly sign up for a plan online and get a quote in as little as 60 seconds. Delta Dental also offers exceptionally affordable dental insurance plans for business owners.
Want to get coverage that doesn’t break the bank? Humana offers both DHMO and PPO plans in most areas of Ohio at very competitive prices. DHMO plans are available from just $14 a month and you can secure PPO coverage for just $17 a month.
Humana’s plans also have low deductibles — individuals pay just $50 for their dental care costs a year and families pay just $150. You’ll find plenty of coverage choices and some of the most affordable plans in the state at Humana — the company takes top prize in saving its customers’ cash.
3. Physicians Mutual
Comparing dental insurance plans can be a hassle. Need coverage fast and don’t want to wait around for a representative to contact you before you can compare your options? Be sure to get a quote from Physicians Mutual.
Physicians Mutual offers individual dental insurance plans in Ohio from just $25 a month — and you can get a quote in as little as 30 seconds. Physicians Mutual offers 3 coverage tiers and its website clearly lays out what is and isn’t covered on each plan.
All plan tiers include $0 deductibles — which gives you one less thing to compare between providers.
Orthodontic coverage can be difficult to find, but paying out-of-pocket for your child’s orthodontia can be even more costly. Ameritas is one of only a few dental insurance providers in Ohio that offers plans that include orthodontic coverage.
You can get a plan with a $1,000 annual maximum and orthodontic inclusion from just $34 a month. You can also up your annual coverage to $2,000 for less than $45 a month. In addition to orthodontics, most Ameritas dental plans also include 100% coverage for routine preventive services and up to 80% coverage for more expensive treatments.
- securely through Ameritas Dental Insurance's websiteBest For:Adult and child orthodontia benefitsRating:
5. Guardian Direct
Moving to Ohio from out of state? Guardian Direct makes things a little easier for new Ohio transplants. You can use Guardian Direct’s dental office search feature to find dental offices in your area that accept Guardian Direct plans.
Just enter your zip code and Guardian Direct will introduce you to a list of dentists near you, along with the plans you accept. Guardian’s plans are also exceptionally affordable and coverage is available from as little as $20 a month in most parts of Ohio.
Types of Dental Coverage
You might see a few different plan options from a single company. There are 3 main types of dental coverage you’ll see:
- DHMO plans: Dental health maintenance organizations (DHMOs) are one of the most limited types of dental insurance plans. When you get a DHMO, you’ll need to choose a dentist from a list of in-network providers. If you choose a dentist outside of your network, you won’t be able to use your benefits.
- PPO plans: Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are less limited than DHMOs — but you’ll need to have a higher monthly budget. PPOs cost more than DHMO plans but allow you to use any dental office you want. If you’re willing to see a dentist within your PPO network, your insurance might offer you a discount. PPOs are an especially good choice if you have a family dentist you want to continue to use.
- Discount plans: Discount plans are the cheapest plans you’ll see from any insurance provider. You might see discount plans available from $5 a month. However, these plans aren’t really a type of insurance because they don’t pay for any amount of your dental care costs. Instead, the dentists on the discount plan agree to give you a percentage off of any dental services.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Dental insurance plans are largely independent of regulation. The insurance companies who provide these plans have almost unlimited freedom to choose which services they want to cover — and which they want to exclude. Most plans include coverage for 3 types of dental services:
- Precautionary care, which includes services that dentists recommend to prevent future dental issues. Cleanings and X-rays are usually considered precautionary care. Many insurance plans cover 100% of precautionary care.
- Essential services, which include regular procedures used to correct dental health problems. Cavity fillings and simple tooth extractions are usually considered essential services. Most dental insurance plans cover about 70% – 80% of essential service costs.
- Major services are rare, often invasive procedures used to correct very large oral health issues. Bridges and dentures are 2 examples of procedures that insurance companies consider to be major expenses. Most insurance plans cover 50% of the cost of major services.
Dental insurance companies can choose which services fall under each category on each plan. This can cause major discrepancies between plans. For example, some insurance companies consider root canals to be essential services while others classify them as major services. Remember to read what procedures fall under which categories before you choose a plan.
What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover?
No dental insurance plan will cover every type of oral health issue. The following categories are some of the areas where you might see exclusions on your plan.
- Cosmetic treatments: Even the best dental insurance plan won’t cover purely cosmetic dental treatments. If you want teeth whitening or cosmetic veneers, for example, you’ll need to be ready to pay for them out of pocket.
- Adult orthodontics: When you shop for an insurance plan, you might see some plans that offer orthodontics coverage. Most of the time, this coverage is limited to children included in your plan. You’ll need to pay for adult orthodontics out of your savings — even if your dentist says that orthodontics are medically necessary for you.
- Select treatments and services: Dental insurance companies routinely deny or limit coverage for expensive treatments and procedures. For example, many dental insurance plans don’t cover any of the percentages of the cost of dental sealants, despite the fact that dentists agree that these treatments are effective at preventing cavities.
Average Cost of Ohio Dental Insurance
Dental insurance is much more affordable when you compare the average costs with health insurance. The average Ohio resident can expect to pay about $30 a month for a relatively cheap plan and up to $45 a month for a more expensive plan.
What to Look for in a Dental Plan Provider
So, where do you start when you need dental insurance?
First and foremost, you should look at what your dental insurance plan will cost you. Most dental plans include annual maximum benefit limits. Your annual maximum benefit limit is the highest dollar amount that your plan will pay out each year for your dental care. Once you hit your maximum, you’ll be responsible for the rest of your care costs. Let’s say you choose a plan with a maximum that’s too low. You might hit it early in the year — especially if you run into a costly dental health issue.
You also need to consider your plan’s deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money your insurance company expects you to pay for your care costs before you can start using your benefits. Choose a plan with a low deductible to start using your benefits early.
Finally, take a look at your plan’s inclusions and exclusions. You want to choose a plan that includes coverage for plenty of common dental health issues. The last thing you want is to pay for a dental insurance plan, only to find that you can’t use your benefits because the procedure you need isn’t covered.
Smile Brighter With Ohio Dental Insurance
Finding dental insurance can be time-consuming. But the best way to make sure that you aren’t paying more than you need to for dental protection is to compare your options. Take some time to explore a few different dental insurance companies that offer coverage in your area and create a spreadsheet that lists costs, deductibles and maximums.
See what’s available to see how much your family can save.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does dental insurance cover dentures?
Dental insurance can cover dentures, but you should ensure that your policy covers your dental care at a level you are comfortable with.
Will dental insurance cover emergencies?
Yes, emergency services are covered by dental insurance, but you should review your policy to learn how much is 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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About Sarah Horvath
Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.