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They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. That might be true, but your oral health is a window to your overall health. Your teeth, gums and mouth can provide important clues about your health. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is an essential part of your overall health. As a veteran, you deserve the best when it comes to health. Let’s take a look at VA dental insurance, your options and how to choose the best provider.
Best Veterans Dental Insurance:
- Best for Cleaning + Exams: Delta Dental
- Best for Saving on Fees: MetLife
- Best Dental Plan: DentalPlans.com
- Best for Comparing Plans: eHealth
- Best for Ortho Benefits: Ameritas
Best VA Dental Insurance Providers
Ready to find the best dental insurance for veterans? Here are our picks, based on our research:
1. Delta Dental
Delta Dental is one of the approved VADIP dental providers. It’s one of the biggest dental insurance companies around with more than 80 million members. It has an extensive provider network, making it easy to get care.
You can go outside of your network to get dental care, though. Veterans can choose among 3 different plans with various coverage levels and annual maximums, making it easy to choose a plan that fits your budget.
Braces are expensive. MetLife offers a VADIP plan that includes 50% coverage for orthodontia, which can be a big help for your wallet. It also offers a basic plan without orthodontic coverage.
MetLife has an extensive provider network, but you can get out-of-network care if you prefer. The plan covers more if you see in-network doctors. MetLife also makes it easy to manage your plan. You can view your benefits and ID cards online.
Don’t want to deal with the paperwork and headaches of traditional dental insurance? Dentalplans.com can help. It offers more than 30 dental savings plans.
With these plans, you pay an annual fee and get reduced rates from network dentists. There’s no annual limit on benefits, and you can save anywhere from 10% to 60% on services. Dentalplans.com offers a range of plans so you can choose one that fits your budget.
4. eHealth Insurance
Choosing an insurance plan can be overwhelming. eHealth Insurance simplifies things by doing the legwork for you.
You enter basic information, and eHealth Insurance puts together a list of dental providers in your area. You can compare plan premiums, annual maximum benefits and plan types.
You can look at the network of each plan and apply for coverage with just a few clicks.
Ameritas offers award-winning customer service. If you need help with a dental claim, Ameritas will help you at every step of the process. Ameritas offers a wide range of plans, and you can bundle dental coverage with vision or hearing insurance.
Some Ameritas plans allow you to roll benefits from one year to the next. That way, you have the coverage you need when you need it.
- securely through Ameritas Dental Insurance's websiteBest For:Adult and child orthodontia benefitsRating:
Types of Dental Coverage
Dental coverage options vary significantly from plan to plan. As a veteran, you have dental coverage options through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Let’s review your options and the types of dental plans available.
VA Dental Insurance Options
The VA offers dental care benefits to some veterans. If you qualify for this care, you would receive your dental care through a VA dental clinic. Eligibility depends on several factors, including:
- Your military service
- Your current health
- Your living situation
The best way to determine whether you’re eligible for VA dental care is by contacting the VA at 877-222-VETS. In general, the following service members are eligible for comprehensive VA dental care:
- Veterans with a service-connected dental disability or condition for which you receive monthly payments
- Former prisoners of war
- Veterans with a permanent service-related disability rated 100% disabling
Other veterans may qualify based on their health and other factors. Many veterans don’t qualify for this coverage. In this case, you may want to consider a private dental plan.
You can buy a dental plan on your own or through the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP). Congress has approved VADIP through the end of 2021 but it may extend it further. VADIP allows veterans to buy discounted dental insurance through Delta Dental or MetLife.
Veterans are responsible for paying the premium, which is your monthly payment for the dental plan. You’re also responsible for paying the out-of-pocket costs associated with your dental plan.
To enroll in VADIP, you must be enrolled in the VA healthcare system. Your dependents and beneficiaries can also enroll if they are receiving care through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA).
Enrolling in a VADIP plan is voluntary. If you don’t enroll in a dental plan, it has no impact on your other benefits. As with any type of insurance, the best route is to evaluate your options and choose a plan that works for you, your budget and your dental care needs. You can get multiple quotes with just a few clicks by visiting our trusted partner.
Types of Dental Plans
Whether you go with a VADIP plan or purchase coverage of your own, look at each type of plan. Here are the most common options when it comes to dental insurance:
- PPO: A PPO is a preferred provider organization. With a PPO, your dental insurance company contracts with dentists and sets fees. You can choose to see dentists outside the network, but they may have higher fees.
- HMO: Dental health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, contract with dentists. The dental plan pays the dentist for each patient that’s been assigned to that dentist. This means you have to go to a network dentist to receive benefits.
- Indemnity plans: These plans pay for a portion of your dental based on the type of service you receive. You’re responsible for any remaining charges. You can usually choose your own dentist.
- Discount plans: These plans are not technically insurance plans. Instead, the company offering the discount plan negotiates a discount with a network of dentists. The dentists agree to offer plan members a discount. You’re responsible for all charges after the discount.
Average Cost of Dental Insurance
The average cost of dental insurance varies widely depending on the type of plan and whether it’s a group plan, like the VADIP or individual coverage. Individual plans start at around $9 per month, but the premium may be significantly higher depending on the level of coverage and whether it’s an individual or family plan.
For group coverage, plans range from an average of $14 to $30.57 for an individual and from $27 to $56.73 for a family plan. VA members get a discount on VADIP plan premiums.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
What do you get for your monthly premiums? Here’s what dental insurance typically covers:
- Routine preventive and diagnostic care: Most plans fully cover routine care like cleanings and exams.
- Basic procedures: Plans also typically cover basic procedures like fillings, extractions and root canals. Plan coverage varies, but many cover about 80% of the costs for these procedures.
- Major procedures: This is where plan coverage varies. Each plan has its rules around which major procedures it will cover. Major procedures include crowns, implants and bridges. If a major procedure is covered, dental insurance may pay around 50%. Check the terms of your plan to find out for certain.
Dental insurance plans may not cover orthodontics, cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and preexisting conditions.
What to Look for in a Dental Insurance Provider
When it comes to affordable dental insurance, what should you look for? Here are a few factors to consider:
- Waiting periods: Some plans may have a waiting period. This is how long you have to wait before a certain procedure is covered. Look for a dental provider with short or no waiting periods.
- Time limits: Some plans limit how often you can receive services. For example, a plan might only cover a full set of X-rays every other year or limit how often children can receive fluoride treatments. Look for a plan with reasonable time limits.
- Annual maximums: Many plans limit how much they will pay in a given year. A plan with a $2,000 annual maximum will pay $2,000 in benefits per year. If the cost of your dental services exceeds the maximum, you’ll be responsible for the costs. Look for a plan with a high annual maximum if you anticipate needing major procedures.
Choosing a VA Dental Insurance Plan
Which plan is best for you? That depends on your eligibility and where you live. If you qualify for VA comprehensive dental benefits and you live near a VA dental clinic, that might be the best fit. If you don’t qualify or live near a dental clinic, compare the VADIP plans with other dental plans on the market.
Keep in mind the potential dental needs of you and your family along with your budget. Look at the out-of-pocket costs and the dental provider networks. Choose a provider that fits into your budget while meeting your dental needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can veterans with VA healthcare purchase dental insurance at a discount?
Veterans enrolled in the VA plan can buy dental insurance at discounts through the VA Dental Insurance Program.
How much do VA dental insurance plans cost?
VA dental insurance plans range from $8.65 to $52.90 per month.
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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