If you’re not sure about choosing the best dental plan for your family because there are far too many options available, you’re not alone.
For most individuals, it is too intimidating to sort through the tiresome dental plan to find one that works. Since there is no one-size fits all rule when it comes to dental care, it is not easy to choose one. However, it is important to choose wisely when you finally do decide to sign up for a dental plan.
Consider the following tips when choosing a dental plan for yourself and your family:
1) Try Retaining Your Current Dentist
If you already have a dentist you’re comfortable with, then your best option would be to choose an insurance policy that their office accepts. If your plan supports your current dentist and fits in with the needs of your family, then you won’t have to switch to a different healthcare provider.
2) Factor in All the Costs
Most people don’t take into account all the costs of a dental plan. Terms such as co-pays, deductibles, and other expenses never cross their mind until they are forced to learn them. This is why you should try to have an open discussion with your agent about all the possible fees involved.
The last thing anyone wants in a painful situation is to be get a massive dental bill that they could have avoided by just talking. Sometimes, a dental plan isn’t worth choosing if its deductible is too high to fulfill, even if the premium itself is affordable.
3) Evaluate the Dental Network Before Signing Up
Make sure to look into all the possible options, because each network will have its own group of dentists. A few dental plans will restrict you to specific dental professionals. Others will allow you to make appointments with a dentist of your choosing. The two most popular dental plan networks are HMOs and PPOs, with the latter giving you the ability to make your own appointments, albeit at higher premiums.
- HMOs restrict you to a certain group of dentists and you need a referral from your primary care provider before you can expect any treatment.
- One big advantage with HMOs is that you won’t have to file any claims yourself, since your primary care prouder will fill the tedious forms on your behalf.
4) Evaluate Any Restrictions of the Dental Plan
Most dental insurance plans have restrictions about certain treatments and prescriptions.
For instance, some plans only cover inexpensive dental treatments such as X-Rays or teeth cleaning. If you want specialty work to be done, then chances are your dental plan won’t cover it.
5) Choose a Dental Plan Based on Your Locality
At present, your dental plan probably has a network of dentists and specialists who are located out of town, requiring you to travel long distances. You can easily avoid this by searching for dental plans based on your zip code. There are many online tools and search engines that let you search for dental plans available in close proximity.
These tools also provide additional details about each plan’s network and specific coverage. If you are concerned about the location, make sure to start an online search before signing up for a plan.
6) Compare all Your Options
- Don’t hesitate in asking multiple websites and networks to give you written quotes to help you compare their dental plans.
- Try to gather as much useful data as possible. Many websites help you find specific information related to various dental pans and compare them side by side.
- Try making a list of all the dental services available in your area that your family could use.
- You can then compare all the dental plans head to head using the criteria specific to your family.
7) Factor in Family Plans
Do you plan to have children in the future? If so, you have to consider the possibility of a growing family into account because the specifics of family dynamics will play a huge role in determining your dental plan. Young children in particular need professional dental services and the last thing you want is a massive bill.
It is common for both adolescents and young teenagers to need braces and similar dental procedures. Your family’s dental needs may change on the pregnancy itself, so make sure to factor these before choosing a dental plan.
8) Any Sports Enthusiasts in the Family?
If your family members engage in high risk sports such as basketball and football, they could be at risk of sports related injuries and require urgent dental care.
It is also common for sports enthusiasts to use protective gear such as professional mouthguards. If this family structure describes you perfectly, then you should inquire about the extent of coverage needed to pay for the extra expenses to gain proper treatment.
9) Look at the Drug List
All dental pans have a list of medications that they cover along with the co-payment required for each. If you are on prescription medicine, consult the list to see if it is on the list and how much it costs to get a refill. If your particular medication is not covered, you might have to cover the entire cost yourself.
Always check your plan if it offers a discounted mail-in prescription option for medicines that you take on a regular basis.
10) Always ask the Right Questions
- Try reaching out to the member services department of your health plan.
- Which hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, or clinics participate in the plan?
- How much will you have to pay by choosing a service that lies out of the network?
- Does the dental plan cover travel emergencies?
- How much extra will you have to pay out of your own pocket to cover expenses?
- Which benefits are covered and which aren’t?
- How are disputes and similar services handled?
Prepare a list of such questions and keep them handy so you’re never at a loss of words during a conversation with the agent.
We can help you find the best discount dental plan for your family without breaking your budget.