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How do I Choose the Best Group Dental Plan?

B. Miller
B. Miller

When choosing a group dental plan, you will want to consider the different factors that are important for any insurance plan, such as the deductible amount and whether costs are covered for providers that are in the network and out of the network. The monthly or, more commonly, bi-weekly cost for the plan is a consideration as well, though group dental plans are typically fairly inexpensive as compared to health insurance, and may generally be deducted right from a paycheck. The group dental plan you choose might also change depending on whether you need a family plan or if you just need individual insurance for yourself.

A basic group dental plan, either for an individual, for a family, will typically offer coverage for regular dental visits and X-rays. Two visits per year are often allowed, with X-rays once a year. Other services may be covered, such as oral surgery or other required dental work, though elective procedures are rarely covered. Be sure to check and see what additional services are covered; major oral surgeries, for example, may only be partially covered by some types of insurance and can be very expensive. For people who are in good health and do not expect to visit the dentist except for regular cleanings or emergencies, a basic group dental plan with a moderate to high deductible is usually a fairly solid choice, and will be the least expensive option.

A dentist examines a patient's teeth.
A dentist examines a patient's teeth.

For families with young children, a pricier group dental plan with additional features can be a wise choice. This is because some basic plans will not cover the cost of orthodontia, which can be a significant expense in families with children. Anyone who has dental issues, gum disease, or anything that causes you to visit the dentist on a more regular basis should also choose a group dental plan with more options and perhaps a lower deductible so the out of pocket costs are lower. These plans will be more expensive per payment, but are generally worth it in the long run.

A group dental plan should cover annual dental X-rays.
A group dental plan should cover annual dental X-rays.

When choosing your group dental plan, it is also a good idea to make sure that your preferred dentist is in the list of in-network providers, if the insurance requires it. Some insurance plans will not list a provider network, or will allow coverage for providers who operate out of the preferred network, but this is an important factor to consider. Doing your research ahead of time will be most beneficial.

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    • A dentist examines a patient's teeth.
      By: Sandor Kacso
      A dentist examines a patient's teeth.
    • A group dental plan should cover annual dental X-rays.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      A group dental plan should cover annual dental X-rays.
    • Some dental plans cover x-rays.
      By: Georgiy Pashin
      Some dental plans cover x-rays.