Dental insurance is either provided by your employer or a policy that you buy directly from a dental insurance company. It is meant to help cover some of the costs associated with your dental care.
Routine dental care, including regular checkups and preventive services, such as cleaning, is relatively inexpensive, however, restorative dental procedures such as dental implants and crowns can be quite expensive.
Although many employers provide regular health insurance as a benefit, fewer also provide dental insurance. As the cost of healthcare has increased, many employers have dropped dental coverage or shifted most of the monthly premium costs to their employees.
With medical expenses soaring higher every year, health insurance is an expensive necessity. Knowing more about health insurance can help you get the coverage you need while keeping your expenses down.
What types of health insurance are available?
Health insurance plans generally fall into one of two categories. First, there are the indemnity plans (also known as reimbursement plans). Second, there are managed care plans such as health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and point of service (POS) plans.
- An indemnity plan allows you to choose your own doctors and pays for your medical expenses. This can be done in total, in part, or up to a specified amount per day for a specified number of days.
- Managed-care plans generally provide broader coverage. They all involve an arrangement between the insurer and a selected network of health-care providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.). This arrangement provides a strong incentive for you to stay in-network. Usually, by doing so you are covering less for services received outside the network.
No matter which type of health insurance you buy, you’ll need to make sure it offers the right kinds of coverage.
How do I decide which plan is best?
The best health insurance plan for you is the one that gives you the greatest flexibility and the most benefits for the lowest cost. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a standard health insurance plan. As you would when making any major purchase, you’ll need to shop around and get several quotes before choosing a plan. Here are a few points to consider:
- What co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance requirements apply?
- How much freedom do you have to choose your own health-care providers?
- Does the plan cover the health services that you need?
- Will the plan cover the health-care providers you’re currently using?
- Does the plan offer family, as well as individual, coverage?
- Does the plan cover pre-existing conditions? If so, is there a waiting period?
- Does the insurance company have a good reputation in the industry and a positive rating from a major rating organization and your state’s department of insurance?