If you already have health insurance but need more dental coverage, it’s time to look at a supplemental dental insurance plan. Here’s Benzinga’s guide to select the best additional coverage for you.
Best Supplemental Dental Insurance Providers
Once you know dental isn’t included in your health insurance plan, you might wonder if it’s even worth getting dental insurance on top of it. The right provider for your needs is always worth it, and we’ve done the research to share our top picks to help you narrow your search.
1. Smart Health Dental
Smart Health Dental (SHD) offers multiple dental insurance and noninsurance plan options. It has an extensive national network of more than 200,000 licensed dental providers.
Choose between preventive and comprehensive coverage. The preventive PPO plan offers coverage for most routine procedures like cleanings, check-ups and x-rays.
There are no deductibles or waiting periods. Annual maximum coverage for preventive is $750.
The comprehensive coverage will get you coverage for major procedures, including bridges, implants and dentures. The maximum benefit starts at $750 and increases to $1,250 by year 3. Your also benefits increase from 80% to 100%.
Contact SHD for details and a complete quote. Service is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Call 866-260-2402.
DentalPlans.com offers a variety of plans to help you save up to 60% on your dentist visits.
Savings plans cover more than 100,000 dentists across the nation and start at $80 per year.
There’s no wait time for certain procedures, but it's important to know that your out-of-pocket costs will still be higher than going with a PPO or HMO plan.
3. United Healthcare
Dental plans from United Healthcare can supplement your health plans by providing you with several options. Supplemental generally covers:
- Cleanings and fluoride with no waiting period and no deductible
- Simple fillings and emergency care
- Major services like retainers and root canals, subject to deductibles and waiting periods
- No age restrictions
- Visit retail and private dental offices
Check out our list of other affordable dental plan coverages for more options.
4. MetLife Dental
MetLife’s plans suit a variety of patients and provide better access to routine care and emergency services.
MetLife Dental offers a PPO plan boasting the Preferred Dentist Program, which allows you to save money on all services received from an in-network provider.
You can also get plans through its MetLife TakeAlong Dental plans for large or small businesses.
Cigna’s dental insurance plans are perfect for families with children because coverage includes braces, which can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 without coverage.
Cigna has a smaller network than other providers, but it’s worth it to find a participating dentist if your child needs braces. Cigna also covers 100% of preventive care.
What is Supplemental Dental Insurance?
Supplemental dental insurance is meant to manage the costs of dental procedures not covered by your existing dental plan. Many dental insurance plans only pay up to $1,500. This is fine for cleanings or cavity fillings, so supplemental dental insurance is a great purchase when you know you may need more coverage. Some dental insurance plans also don’t cover preexisting conditions, so supplemental dental can help bridge the gap.
Types of Dental Coverage
Like most other types of insurance, you’ll find a wide range of supplemental dental insurance. You need to understand the 4 main types as you begin your search.
This is the least expensive option available. A dental HMO allows you to get dental care at a reduced cost from dentists within your plan’s network. If you choose a dentist outside the network, you’ll end up paying the full cost for care and procedures.
This employer-provided dental insurance often comes with higher premiums than an HMO plan. Similar to an HMO, PPO has a preferred network of dentists, though it’s often bigger than an HMO network. You also won’t have to pay the full cost when you opt for an out-of-network provider, but you can expect the total to be higher if you go out of network.
Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans aren’t exactly insurance, but by paying a low monthly fee, you’ll receive discounts on dental care. You’ll be given a dental discount card, which you can present to your dentist during visits. These plans ensure lower prices on a variety of services.
Dental Indemnity Plans
You can use any dentist you want with a dental indemnity plan, which means there’s no network. Of course, this comes with higher premiums than you would have with HMOs or PPOs. It also has higher co-pays, which is the amount left over that you have to pay.
Average Cost of Supplemental Dental Insurance
Supplemental dental insurance plans are usually about $20 to $50 a month for individuals. Dental insurance plans for families range from $50 to $150 per month. Americans pay around $360 each year for dental insurance on average.
How to Compare Supplemental Dental Insurance
Dental insurance can be frustrating due to annual coverage limits, which might only amount to $1,000 to $1,500. Some procedures are only covered up to 50%. As you compare coverage options, be sure to look at the following criteria before you make a decision.
Group coverage programs like AARP and public programs like Medicaid are usually less expensive than purchasing individual insurance. They may also offer better benefits.
PPO and HMO plans limit you to the dentists within their network. If you already have a dentist you prefer, ask your dental provider which insurance plans it accepts. If you don’t mind finding a new dentist, a PPO or HMO is a safe option.
Take a closer look at what possible dental insurance plans cover and when coverage begins. Some dental policies cover services such as gum cleanings and denture repairs immediately, but you may have to wait for a year or more for specialized services like dental implants. Also, take note of how much of each service is covered, since some dental insurance plans only cover 50% of major procedures.
Supplemental Dental Plans to Help You Smile
You can get specialized or emergency dental procedures without breaking the bank. Whether your health insurance excludes dental or you know you’ll need braces or dentures soon, supplemental dental insurance can provide coverage to help buffer the cost.
To find the best supplemental dental insurance for you, start by comparing quotes. Just enter your ZIP code and some basic information, and we can show you the dental plans that make the most sense for you.
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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