Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost

The cost of dental insurance varies, depending on the type of plan and level of coverage chosen. The more (and more expensive) procedures that a policyholder would like to get coverage for, the higher the premiums are likely to be.

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Dental insurance will likely cost $60 per month or less for the average person seeking care. Consider alternatives and types of plans before making any decision.

Dental Insurance Plans Available

Consumers who are looking for dental insurance coverage have a number of coverage types to choose from. If being able to choose one’s own dentist is an important consideration, an indemnity plan offers this option. This type of coverage has an annual limit for benefits, and is treated as a fee-for-service plan.

When a patient seeks dental services under an indemnity plan, they pay a set fee for each visit. Limits may apply for specific dental procedures as set out in the policy. There may be co-payments required under this plan as well.

A dental care consumer can also choose to enroll in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan for their care. With this type of arrangement, plan members seek care from a group of dentists who agree to provide services at a set rate. Plan members who get their dental care from a member dentist get a higher level of coverage than if they visit a dentist who is not a member of the provider network.

A closed panel plan is another option available to subscribers. With this option, a member is limited to getting his or her dental care from a limited number of dentists. The plan member may be told to visit a specific office or clinic to access services under the plan.

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Dental Plan Coverage

Dental plans cover a number of kinds of services, and the extent of coverage available depends on the specific plan involved. Like all insurance policies, a dental insurance plan will have certain exclusions. These are services that are not covered under the policy.

Most dental insurance plans will provide a certain level of coverage for basic dental services, such as check-ups and x-rays. Other procedures, such as fillings, will likely also be covered, and there may be an annual limit on the benefits payable. The policy may specify that the limit is calculated per calendar year, as opposed to the anniversary of when the policy was issued.

The plan member will likely need to pay a deductible before the insurance company will start to pay benefits under a dental insurance policy. Choosing a policy with a higher deductible means lower premiums, and this can be a good choice for people who are mostly concerned with having coverage for more extensive dental procedures.

Usual, Customary and Reasonable Charges

It’s quite common for dental insurance companies to pay a set amount for certain services. The amount payable is set out in the insurance benefits documentation. The insurance company may limit the amount it will cover to what it calls “Usual, Customary and Reasonable” (UCR) costs of dental services.

To determine what is reasonable in a particular area, the insurance company will find out what dentists usually charge for different types of services. The UCR schedule is set based on the result of the insurance company’s research and is meant to be a fair representation of the cost of dental care.

If a policyholder is charged more than the rate set by the insurance company’s set UCR schedule of fees, the insurance company will only pay the maximum amount set out in the policy for that particular service. Any amount owing over the UCR rate must be paid by the policyholder directly.

A person who wants to buy a dental insurance policy but who wants to avoid paying too much for this protection should shop around for coverage. Each plan is different, and the customer should consider the level of coverage offered and whether he or she is expected to make copayments for each visit before making a decision.

To pay lower premiums, a customer can choose a policy with a higher deductible. This is a good choice when the policyholder is prepared to pay more for basic dental care and is mostly concerned about the cost of major dental services, if required.

Dental insurance costs will vary, depending on the policy selected. If a consumer is only interested in getting basic coverage, he or she will pay less than a policy with a higher level of protection. No matter how much the premium rates are, they are still more reasonable than paying the full amount of dental services directly.

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