Planning ahead: Tips for picking a dental insurance plan during open enrollment

Picking dental insurance during open enrollment may seem like a headache, but we’ve broken it down for you in a way that will help you make the right decision. Remember, dental health is a key factor in your overall body health, so make sure you’re getting the coverage you need.

First, let’s talk about the types of coverage and the two categories available.

You have dental coverage in two ways: Inclusive or Stand-alone

You can purchase health plans that include dental coverage or purchase separate, stand-alone dental plans. Make sure you compare the prices and coverages. A health plan with dental means you make one premium payment. A separate dental plan means you pay for both a health and a dental premium, so two payments.

You should know that you can cancel a stand-alone coverage at any time, but the inclusive packages will be more complicated. You can only change to another health plan without dental benefits during Open Enrollment unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you have a job-based plan, check with your employer to see if they have different open enrollment periods. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is also open for application and enrollment at any time since they are government programs. For all others: Open enrollment for 2017 is from November 1st through December 15th.

There are two types of categories: High Coverage or Low Coverage

High coverage has a higher premium (your monthly payment) but you have lower deductibles (the payment you make before your insurance starts its coverage) and copayments (a fixed fee you pay for a covered service). This means you pay more up front, but less when you use dental services.

A low coverage level has lower premiums but higher deductibles and copayments (also known as copays). This means you pay less each month, but more when you visit the dentist in person.

When you compare plans, you should make note of the following:

  1. Plan cost per month
  2. Deductibles
  3. Copayments
  4. The services covered by the insurance plan

Here are our top tips to help you during your enrollment period.

  • Choose a plan that fits the needs of you and your family. If you have tough costs like braces or intense dental work ahead, it may save you money to go with a higher coverage. If your kids play sports, make sure you look into emergency dental work services.
  • Shop around for the best deal. If there are multiple policies available, look through the options. You won’t be able to get a dental plan through the Marketplace unless you’re buying a health plan at the same time, so keep that in mind, as well.
  • Read the fine print. You want to know how long it will take for the insurance plan to pay for serious or expensive procedures.
  • Take the time to do the research and your mouth will thank you for it.
  • Call us!  We’re happy to help you understand what you might be selecting so that you can get the best plan for you and your family!
Posted in Dental Health, Insurance

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