How to Get the Most Out of Your Dental Insurance

If you have health insurance, you know how important it is and chances are good that you use it to its full potential – but what about your dental insurance? Not everyone has a dental insurance plan, but even those who do may not be leveraging their plans as effectively as they could be.

Your teeth are more than mere “luxury bones” that you have to take care of if you want to keep them around. Good oral health is often key to maintaining good overall health, which makes using your dental insurance plan correctly all the more important.

Use Free Preventative Care Benefits

At the end of the day, your insurance company doesn’t want to spend money on any expensive procedures or operations your mouth may need. Treating periodontal disease is a lot more expensive than getting a regular cleaning and X-rays, so your dental insurance company will probably incentivize you to take on preventative care by covering 100% of its cost.

Dental Insurance Often Covers More for Fillings Than Crowns

Sometimes dental problems can’t be avoided. Dental insurance plans still incentivize getting help for a smaller problem before it gets out of control.

In a lot of cases, you can expect your dental insurance to cover fillings at a greater percentage than crowns. For example, your dental insurance might be willing to cover 80% of a $120 filling but only 50% of a $240 crown.

Don’t Purchase Two Separate Insurance Plans

If you are paying for two separate dental insurance plans, you may not be as covered as you think. People may do this when they know that one plan will cover something the other doesn’t, so they believe that they can just bill whichever dental insurance plan is most appropriate for the situation.

This doesn’t always work because one insurance company is designated as the primary while the other is the secondary. When a claim is submitted to the primary insurance company, any deductible or copay owed must still be paid, and it won’t be covered by the second insurance company. Also, the secondary insurance company probably won’t pay for anything unless you reached your annual maximum with the primary company or if a dental code was covered under its policy.

The process is a lot more complicated than people think it will be, which means it’s best to invest a little more money in a single great dental insurance plan than trying to rely on two different, cheaper ones to get everything covered.

Don’t Always Go for the Cheapest Plan

We all know the phrase: “You get what you pay for.” When it comes to dental insurance, this axiom holds true. If you pay for the cheapest possible plan out there, you can expect your coverage to not be as great as it could be under a more expensive plan. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try to accept a plan you can’t afford, just that you shouldn’t be thinking about getting a deal on dental insurance, because it can cost you far more in the long run.

Make Sure You Know Your Plan’s Limits

Your plan may cover certain treatments or procedures a certain number of times a year or to a certain extent. For example, dental exams and X-rays may only be covered twice a year or six months apart. You may only be able to get a certain number of fillings covered per year. Understanding limits like these can be key to ensuring you’re using your insurance efficiently.