Good oral health is an important component of good overall health. Experts agree that regular visits to the dentist are critical for maintaining good oral health. In fact, 48% of people who don’t see a dentist regularly have some degree of gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to serious health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes.
For most people, maintaining good oral health means seeing a dentist every six to nine months for a routine exam and cleaning, but your dentist may recommend visits more or less frequently depending on your individual needs.
Because the cost of regular trips to the dentist can add up quickly, many people choose to purchase a Canada dental insurance plan to help minimize their out-of-pocket expenses.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a dental plan, you may be wondering where to start. We recommend starting with an overview of the process of purchasing private health and dental insurance.
Choosing a Plan
Take care to select a plan that meets your individual needs, as well as the needs of your family. If your family includes young children, be sure to think ahead. If they’re covered at all, most plans have waiting periods before members are eligible for major services and orthodontic work.
Be sure you have a clear understanding of the coverage details, the costs associated with different plans, and answers to any general questions you may have about how dental insurance works. Don’t sign on the dotted line until you know what to expect from your dental insurance coverage, now and in the future.
After selecting the plan that’s right for you and your family, you will be required to make monthly premium payments to maintain your coverage.
Paying for the Plan
There are three different types of fees associated with dental insurance plans, including the premium, the deductible and copayments/coinsurance. No matter what policy you choose, you will be required to pay a monthly premium to maintain your dental insurance coverage.
In addition, some plans also have deductibles and/or copayments/coinsurance for which you will be responsible.
- A deductible is the amount you must pay before your insurance carrier will begin paying for covered services. For example, if your deductible is $500, you are responsible for paying for the first $500 of treatment each year. After that point, your dental insurance will apply, up to the annual limit of the policy.
- A copayment/coinsurance is a portion of the cost of each treatment you receive. If you have a $20 copayment for dental treatments, you will pay $20 each time you visit the dentist.
As mentioned previously, most dental insurance premiums are paid monthly, and you must keep up this payment to keep your coverage, even if you have reached the annual limit of your policy.
Obtaining Treatment Under the Plan
In general, dental insurance works by paying for a percentage of the cost associated with the services covered under the plan. When you receive treatment, either you, your insurance company, or a combination of the two will be responsible for paying for services rendered.
If paying out-of-pocket for your treatment and waiting to be reimbursed by your insurance company is a hardship for your family, talk to your dentist. Some dental offices are equipped to bill insurance companies directly.
If your plan has a deductible that has not yet been met, you will be responsible for paying the entire cost of all treatment you receive until you reach your deductible. If your plan does not have a deductible or you have already met your deductible, you will be responsible for making the copayment/coinsurance in the appropriate amount at the time of your visit.
Choose an Insurance Broker
An insurance broker is an expert who can help you assess your individual circumstances and find a plan that works — one that’s also within your budget. An insurance broker works for you, not the insurance company. They are your ally in the dental insurance purchase process.
Furthermore, these knowledgeable insurance professionals can answer your questions about coverage details, the costs associated with different plans, and general questions you may have about how dental insurance works. If you are planning to purchase an insurance policy, the sooner you start working with a broker, the sooner you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Dental insurance seems complicated, but it can be pretty easy. Choose a plan, make your payments, and start reaping the words of improved oral health. Or, combine all of the steps into one: Contact an insurance broker today!