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How do I Choose the Best Dental Insurance Company?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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People don’t always have a choice when they are purchasing dental insurance. Many obtain insurance through their employer, and this employer may make the decision on what type of insurance to offer. However, some people might turn down an employer plan if it is not adequate and look around for a dental insurance company that does meet their needs; this may be an expensive choice, since insurance at work is usually much less costly.

There are several different types of insurance that might be offered by the same dental insurance company or by different companies. A lot of times companies offer several plan options, which people may want to consider when trying to choose the best dental insurance company. First, some insurers structure payments on a percentage basis. People will always pay the percent designated by the company, and this may work with all dentists or solely with dentists that contract with the company.

Other ways a dental insurance company could figure costs is by having a dental health maintenance organization (HMO). People using plan dentists would pay defined copayments for certain services, and these could be fairly low. Sometimes things like root canals and crowns will be cheapest with dental HMOs. Alternately, a dental insurance company might offer a PPO, where people can choose their dentists but pay more money when they use dentists who don’t participate in a provider network. Costs can be variable for PPOs, and there may be fairly high deductibles before reimbursement occurs.

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Lastly, some companies offer discounts, but not insurance. Costs get reduced by a certain percentage when people visit participating dentists. These are usually the cheapest form of dental coverage, but they also tend to cover the least amount.

Obviously, those faced with a choice should understand the different ways a dental insurance company can offer insurance. Yet there is more to consider. Understanding how pricing works for each different type of plan offered is helpful. People buying new insurance should be certain plans won’t exclude certain things. For instance, if a tooth with an old filling in it breaks, does the company view that as pre-existing or a new condition, and how will that matter be treated financially?

There are a few things people will want to see when they look at contracts from companies. They should look for few to no exclusions on pre-existing conditions, fully defined terms on payments, and what restrictions exist in using the plan. If the plan relies on people using a network of doctors, get access to the network names, call some of them to make certain that people are still part of the network (sometimes the files don’t get updated), and ask a couple of the dentists or secretaries if they’ve had trouble with the dental insurance company.

People can also simply input a dental insurance company name into any large search engine with the word “complaints,” to find out what other people are saying about the company. Companies can be searched through organizations like the Better Business Association too or through the states insurance controller or commissioner. Although no insurance company will make all customers happy, those with very low rates and high degree of customer dissatisfaction are unlikely to be the best choices.

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