Most of us have dental insurance to protect us from exorbitant rates of dental care. If you’re lucky, you’ll get cleanings for free and massive reductions on the costs of routine and necessary procedures.
But how can you make the most of your dental insurance, making sure you get the best possible care for the lowest possible price?
How to Get the Most Out of Your Dental Insurance
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These steps can help you get the most out of your dental insurance:
- Shop around. Before you enroll in any dental insurance policy, take the time to shop around. There are many different types of dental insurance and many different dental insurance providers. If you’re willing to spend some time looking, you can probably find a policy that’s better suited to your personal needs and risk tolerance. You’re also likely to find a lower rate for a similar level of coverage. Even if you only save a few dollars on your monthly premiums, those savings can add up; saving $10 per month means saving $120 per year, and if you have this policy for 10 years, you’ll end up saving $1,200.
- Read the policy carefully. Next, when you’re ready to purchase dental insurance, or if you already have a policy in place, make sure you read your policy as thoroughly as possible. Insurance policies can be complex documents full of legalese, so there may be some parts you don’t understand.
However, it’s on you to understand the proper terminology and develop a working understanding of how this policy works. Generally, your insurance will cover preventative care in full (including your regular cleanings and checkups), but certain procedures may or may not be covered, depending on the circumstances.For example, your dental insurance may or may not cover dental implants in Atlanta.
- Ask lots of questions. Again, dental insurance policies tend to be complex and hard for laypeople to understand. But that doesn’t mean you have to remain complacent with your lack of understanding. Contact your insurance company or your insurance agent and ask lots of questions if there’s anything you don’t understand. These professionals can help break down the policy in terms that you can better understand – and help you make decisions about your own dental health. It takes some time to make these phone calls and have these conversations, but it will be worth it if you walk away with a better understanding of how your policy works.
- Go to a network provider. Most insurance policies have different levels of coverage, depending on whether you go to a provider who’s in your network. If you work with a network provider, you’ll have much lower costs then if you go with a provider who’s outside of your network. Always do your due diligence and verify that your provider is in network before you commit to receiving services from them.
- Get regular cleanings. Regular cleanings are great for your dental health. It’s an opportunity for a dental hygienist to thoroughly clean your teeth and inspect them for damage. Not only will you be better protected against cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health problems, but you’ll also be able to catch potential issues early on, so they’re easier to fix. Best of all, most dental insurance policies include regular cleanings for free, so there’s no excuse not to attend these twice-annual excursions.
- Look for further discounts. Depending on who you are and where you go for care, you may be eligible for further discounts. Ask your insurance company or your insurance agent if there are any other discounts for which you qualify. If you have a major procedure done by a dentist, and only some of it is covered by your insurance, ask the dentist office if there are any discounts available for people like you.
- Take full advantage of your benefits. One function of dental insurance is that it serves as a safeguard against major negative health outcomes; if you have to undergo expensive surgery, you’ll be at least partially covered. But some of the best benefits of dental insurance are minor ones, such as incentives to go to the dentist for regular checkups. Try to take full advantage of these when you can.
- Take good care of your teeth. Taking good care of your teeth isn’t especially difficult. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash is all it takes to prevent the majority of negative dental health outcomes. These proactive measures can keep your oral health in excellent condition, so you never need to tap into your dental insurance policy.
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Is Dental Insurance Worth It?
At this point, you might be wondering if dental insurance is worth it. After all, you have to jump through a few hoops to extract as much value out of the insurance policy as possible.
But for the most part, dental insurance is worth the money. You’ll get free cleanings and checkups, along with an incentive to actually attend them, and more importantly, if you have to undergo any expensive procedures, most of them will be fully or partially covered. Just make sure you read your policy carefully and follow the other suggestions in this guide so you can maximize your returns.