A supplemental dental insurance plan provides an added level of protection for consumers. Many dental insurance plans available through an employer focus on major expenses only, but don’t offer much in the way of coverage for preventive dental care.
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A number of options for supplemental dental insurance plans are available to patients. Taking the time to compare plans means getting the best level of coverage at an affordable rate.
Supplemental Dental Insurance Basics
No insurance plan, including one for dental care, is going to provide protection in all circumstances. A supplemental dental plan is designed to fill in gaps in coverage from a primary dental insurance plan. Some subscribers use the supplemental plan to help cover the cost of out of pocket payments for regular dental care, including cleanings, x-rays and the like.
Consider Your Dental Needs First
Before you can start looking for supplemental dental insurance, you need to understand what your current plan covers. If you don’t have a brochure outlining your current benefits schedule, get one from your employer or the dental insurance company. Once you have the plan information, you can go through and make note of the coverage you already have.
The next step in the process of considering whether you could benefit from supplemental dental insurance is to determine what your dental needs are likely to be for the next 12-24 months. Your dentist can help you by advising you on what regular dental care that you (and your family members) will need during this time, and how much it is likely to cost. Once you know what kinds of services you will need, you can start to look for supplemental coverage.
What to Look for in a Supplemental Dental Insurance Plan
To get the best possible supplemental dental insurance coverage, take some time to consider different providers and price points. Going online makes it easy to gather this information. You can visit a number of web sites for companies offering this type of coverage to get an overview of the different types of coverage options available.
An advantage of going online to gather this kind of information is that you can take the time you need to read through the pages on a web site to educate yourself about what each company offers. Do make notes and keep a list of the various web sites you have visited. After you have seen a few of them, it can become difficult to keep track of where you have been online and what the different companies have to offer. Some people find that keeping their research organized on a spreadsheet helps, and this is a technique that will keep details like the web site URLs, company names, coverage information and pricing in one document.
While you are researching supplemental dental insurance plans, it’s a good idea to do some research on the company itself. You will want to get your coverage from a stable company that has been in business for some time. Part of doing your homework about a prospective insurance provider is to get some information about the way claims are handled. Customer service practices are important, and you will want to choose a company that can process claims in a timely manner.
Dental Discount Plans
Some companies offering supplemental dental insurance are actually selling a dental discount plan. This is not an insurance policy. Instead of paying for your dental visit and submitting a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement, you show the card when you are accessing services to get them at a lower price. This is simply a different way of getting care, and it’s important that you understand what you are getting when you choose a plan.
When your standard insurance doesn’t provide coverage for all of the services you need, consider adding a supplemental dental insurance plan as well. This type of coverage can fill in blanks in your main policy, especially for services like regular check-ups and preventive care.
Another option for people who are looking to save on the cost of their dental services is to consider enrolling in a discount plan to get better pricing on services on an as-needed basis. Before choosing a supplemental dental insurance plan or one of the discount plans available, it’s important to consider your needs first and then find an option that helps to meet them. Pricing, while a key factor, should only be factored in after you have determined how much and what kind of coverage you need.
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