With rolling hills and rich history, there’s plenty to do in Virginia. The last thing you probably want to do is sift through dental plans and choose dental insurance.
Luckily, we put together the best dental insurance Virginia has to offer so you can spend more time doing what you love. Check out our guide to help you get a better understanding of your available coverage, cost and selection.
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Quick Look: Best Dental Insurance in Virginia
- Humana: Best Overall
- Dominion: Cheapest
- Nationwide: Best for High Maximums
- Delta Dental: Best for Plan Choices
- Renaissance Dental: Best for No Waiting Periods
Types of Dental Coverage
Before you can choose a dental insurance plan, you need to understand how different types of coverage work. Dental insurance in VA generally comes in 3 varieties:
- Dental Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)
- Dental Discount Plans
Each type of coverage provides different benefits. The type of plan you need depends on several factors. When you choose a dental plan, make sure you look at these details:
- Deductible: A deductible is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before your dental benefits take effect.
- Annual maximum: Most dental plans allow you to receive a certain amount of dental benefits per year. Once you reach your annual maximum, you have to pay for dental services out of pocket. Many plans have annual maximums of between $1,000–$1,500.
- Waiting period: A waiting period is the time you must have an active plan before you can use its benefits. For example, you may have to wait 6 months before you can get a filling. This helps prevent someone from enrolling in the plan, using expensive dental benefits and dropping coverage afterward.
- Coinsurance: This is the amount of money you must pay for a service in percentage form. Your insurance company may offer 80% coinsurance on a service, for example. You are responsible for 20% of the service, after paying your deductible, and your insurer pays the remaining 80%.
- Copayment: Similar to coinsurance, a copay is a fixed price you pay for a dental service. You may have a copayment of $20 for a $100 service, for example. Your insurance company pays the remaining $80.
- Premium: Your premium is the monthly or annual price you pay to enroll in the dental insurance plan.
- Dental network: A group of dentists who agree to contract with the insurance company to offer reduced rates for dental treatments. Dentists that are in-network are a part of your insurance company’s agreement.
The different insurance factors can make a big difference in the affordability and coverage level of a plan. Be sure to carefully read the details of dental plans to look for the costs and restrictions.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
Dental PPO plans let you choose any dentist in or out of the dental network. You’ll still receive benefits if you choose an out-of-network dentist, but they’ll probably be reduced. Most dental plans are PPO plans.
To choose the right PPO plan, make sure you watch out for annual maximums, deductibles and waiting periods. A cheaper plan may actually cost you more if it has a low annual maximum and high deductible.
Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)
When you enroll in a DHMO plan, you choose a primary dentist from within the dental network. You can then visit this dentist for all of your dental health needs. Unlike a PPO plan, if you use an out-of-network dentist, you may have to pay the full cost of services out of pocket.
Most DHMO plans don’t have waiting periods, deductibles or annual maximums. You usually pay a fixed copay for treatments. A DHMO plan may not be a great choice if you move often, travel or like to visit multiple dentists.
Dental Discount Plans
Although dental discount plans aren’t technically insurance, they can still provide benefits if you need to reduce the cost of dental services. Discount plans work by using a dental network like PPO and DHMO plans. However, you pay a monthly or annual fee to get plan benefits instead of a premium.
When you visit an in-network dentist, you receive discounts for certain services. After the procedure, you pay the discounted rate out of pocket. There are no claims to complete because you’re simply getting a discount on the service.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Most dental plans cover certain treatments and procedures. Although you should always check to see what your plan covers, you usually receive some amount of benefits for:
- Preventive care
- Basic services
- Major services
Some basic plans only cover preventive care, like routine teeth cleaning or part of basic procedures like fillings. Most plans, however, cover all 3 levels of services to some degree.
It’s common for plans to follow a 100-80-50 coverage schedule. The numbers refer to the percentage a service is covered.
- 100: Preventive services are no charge to you. Your plan pays 100% of the cost of services like teeth cleanings and annual exams.
- 80: The plan pays 80% for basic dental treatments and services. Most basic services include fillings and root canals.
- 50: Your plan pays for 50% of more invasive or major procedures, including treatments like crowns or bridges.
What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover?
There are several types of treatments that dental insurance doesn’t cover. The most common treatments include:
- Adult orthodontia
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Serious preexisting conditions
Some plans offer discounts or selective coverage for orthodontic services like braces. These plans also tend to have a higher premium and may have special restrictions for orthodontia benefits.
While each plan defines preexisting conditions differently, you can probably find coverage for minor conditions. Most plans allow you to enroll even if you have an existing cavity, for example. More serious or major oral health issues, such as a serious oral disease, may not receive benefits.
Average Cost of Dental Insurance in Virginia
The national average for dental insurance is about $350 per year, and dental plans in Virginia follow the average. Basic preventive plans cost around $15 per month, or $180 per year. Comprehensive plans with high annual maximums and low deductibles can cost more than $70 per month, or about $840 per year.
To get affordable dental insurance in Virginia, it’s important to look at available discounts. You may be able to save on dental insurance by rolling it into an individual health insurance plan. You can also choose a dental plan with a vision insurance add-on. Many dental plans allow you to add vision coverage for only a few extra dollars per month.
Price shouldn’t be the only factor you use to decide on a dental insurance plan in VA. While the monthly premium can indicate the affordability of a plan, other factors can cause you to spend more or less on dental costs.
A plan with a low monthly premium may also have a low annual maximum. You use up your dental benefits through the plan’s maximum and still need treatments. You now have to pay out of pocket for your remaining dental procedures.
What to Look for in a Dental Provider
The price of a dental plan, as well as the covered services, often play the most important parts as you choose a dental plan. You should also consider which insurance provider you choose as you look at plans.
You don’t want to choose a plan only to have the insurance company deny benefits for some sneaky reason in the small print of your plan. Read any plan you consider carefully and do your research into the best dental insurance providers in Virginia.
Make sure you ask yourself these questions before you pick a dental plan:
- Does the plan give me enough coverage for my usual dental health needs?
- Does the plan fit into my monthly budget, including the cost of deductible or coinsurance?
- Is the company easy to work with and can I reach customer service through social media, online chat, email and phone?
- How long has the company been in business? Is it financially stable?
- Are reviews of the company positive, negative or neutral?
Best Dental Insurance Providers in Virginia
You don’t have to be confused or frustrated while searching for dental insurance. The best dental plans in Virginia meet both your budget and your need for coverage. We went ahead and found some of the best dental providers in Virginia to make your search for dental insurance easier. See which dental insurance companies offer the best plans for your needs.
1. Humana: Best Overall
Humana offers 2 dental PPO plans and a dental discount plan that covers most of the services you need. We think their premium Dental Loyalty Plus PPO plan is a great overall choice. It includes a lifetime deductible, so you only have to meet it once the entire time you have the plan in place.
Your annual maximum benefit also goes up by $250 each year you’re enrolled in the plan.
2. Dominion: Cheapest Dental Insurance in VA
Dominion National is a local Virginia insurance company that offers unmatched affordability. Basic DHMO plans start at up $10 per month for simple benefits and discounted services.
Other plan options provide more coverage for just over $10 per month. If you prefer a PPO plan, they also offer a PPO option at just over $18 per month.
3. Nationwide: Best for High Benefit Maximums
Nationwide is a national provider of insurance benefits. With insurance options for car, home renters and other insurance needs, you can feel confident Nationwide has the financial backing to cover your dental costs.
Nationwide’s dental insurance plans are slightly more expensive than competitors but have higher annual maximum benefits. Some plans have up to $2,000 annual maximums.
4. Delta Dental: Best for Plan Choices
Delta Dental of Virginia provides the most plan choices if you need dental insurance in Virginia. Plans range from a basic preventive plan to high levels of coverage for more expensive services.
Delta Dental is also one of the largest providers of dental insurance in the country. If you move or need to see a dentist outside of your local area, there’s probably a Delta Dental network dentist nearby.
5. Renaissance Dental: Best for No Waiting Periods
Renaissance Dental plans tend to be more expensive than other plans, however, the biggest benefit is many plans have no waiting periods for any services.
Renaissance plans are a good choice if you need a dental service right away but don’t want to pay out of pocket. Coverage also increases each year you have a plan in place.
Dental Insurance Coverage in VA
Get the coverage you need from a top dental insurance company in Virginia. Search your location to find quotes from Virginia dental plans today.
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.