Do you need supplemental dental insurance?

Life Lessons

Do you need supplemental dental insurance?

Whether your employer provides dental benefits or you purchase them on your own, you may find you need more dental coverage than you have. Fortunately, you can buy supplemental dental insurance. Buying supplemental dental insurance isn’t hard, but there are some tips that will make it easier and help you get the best fit.

Follow these steps to get the supplemental dental insurance plan that best fits your needs.

Assess your needs
First, review the dental coverage you currently have. If you have a dental insurance plan from your employer, keep in mind it’s not part of your health insurance coverage — it’s a separate plan. The plan statement should give you a clear idea in plain language what your coverage includes. If you expect you’ll need more dental work than your plan covers, then a supplemental plan could help you manage the costs.

If you don’t have dental coverage from your employer, don’t worry. You’ll be able to purchase a dental insurance plan — individual or for your family — on your own to get coverage. You can also use supplemental dental insurance to round out your Medicare coverage.

Research the options
Supplemental dental insurance can fill gaps in your current coverage or provide coverage when you don’t have any at all. The kind of plan you purchase will depend on the coverage you already have, if any. The plan may help you reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses and eliminate annual maximums.

Supplemental plans are especially helpful when dealing with coverage for orthodontia procedures or cosmetic procedures such as whitening or implants. They’re often set up similarly to regular dental insurance plans by covering a percentage of what you would otherwise have to pay on procedures such as crowns, bridges and dentures.

Purchase a plan
It’s easy to research supplemental dental plans online and compare the options that might work for you. It’s important to determine whether the coverage is eligible only in certain networks or at certain providers, similar to your regular coverage. There may also be limits on what’s covered, such as a certain number of procedures a year, or a limited coverage amount for orthodontic treatment.

Remember that customer service can make the difference between a good supplemental dental insurance plan and a great one. Look for a plan that provides call center service and easy enrollment to ensure you get coverage when you need it. Waiting periods can delay your coverage, so research your options carefully to determine whether your plan has them. And keep in mind you may need to renew your supplemental dental insurance plan every year if you need coverage to continue, so read over the materials carefully.

This post is based on content that first appeared in SmileInSight by Starmount.