What is dental insurance?
Dental insurance plans, like other types of insurance, provide partial or complete coverage of the cost of dental check-ups and treatments, saving you money on what are often costly procedures. Having dental insurance allows you the freedom to choose your dentist, as well as whether you opt for private or NHS treatment.
The specific procedures and amounts covered by a dental plan vary from one provider to the next – that’s why it’s important to “shop around” and compare insurers beforehand. As a general rule, typical dental insurance covers routine examinations, diagnostics, and may cover filling of non-severe dental caries (cavities). Some plans exclude dental implants, treatment of sports injuries, orthodontic work and cosmetic dentistry, treatment of oral cancer and salivary gland diseases and severe dental caries.
Not every plan covers 100 percent of the cost of check-ups or other procedures, and places an annual cap on the amount of total coverage. However, typically having up to seventy five percent of the cost covered makes a significant financial difference.
Types of Plans
Capitation schemes require you to make monthly payments. The coverage provided under such a scheme encompasses check-ups, routine diagnostics such as X-rays, and tooth extractions. With this type of plan, it isn’t necessary to settle the bill after every visit. You can also set your insurance premium after a consultation with the dentist, which means you’ll know exactly how much money you want to pay beforehand. There is one disadvantage – you can only be treated by a dentist who is also part of a capitation scheme.
Capitation Schemes are Categorized One of Two Ways:
1. Maintenance plans provide coverage for two annual oral hygiene check-ups, as well as X-rays and two dental examinations. Though you may have to pay an initial fee when signing up for a maintenance plan, you may also be eligible for discounts on other types of treatment.
2. Comprehensive plans, as the name suggests, allow you to access unlimited dental treatment. You pay a monthly fee (determined by your oral health) – which means that the better it is, the less you pay. Cash plans give you partial coverage for treatments, including screening for general health. Expect to receive up to 75 percent coverage of total costs.
Improve your chances of eligibility by ensuring that you don’t have upcoming dental work and that your mouth is reasonably healthy before applying for coverage. Some insurance providers may request a written declaration that you regularly see a dentist to have your teeth checked before giving you coverage.
Why do I Need Dental Insurance?
A dental plan does two things: Saves you money; and provides you with the peace of mind that you can have the check-ups necessary to spot problems before they grow, and be at least partly covered for treatments that will keep your mouth healthy. Plans can cover individuals, couples and families.
Furthermore, a dental plan lets you choose your dentist – NHS or private. In the UK, where there is a shortage of NHS dentists, this can mean the difference between getting dental care, or not. Your plan can be customised according to your needs and budget.