77% of Americans have dental benefits, according to an article published in 2020, by WebMD. Of the 77%, most dental benefits come from an employer or group program. The purpose of an insurance plan is to absorb risk and to help cover unexpected cost. Most dental insurance also covers the cost of preventative care, making regular visits feel like you're getting something for free!
While most policies cap how they will pay out a year, dental coverage is still a good investment for most people. Here are the benefits you can expect from a typical policy:
- Preventative Care: Dental insurance can cover standard cleanings, exams and X-rays up to 100% before your deductible, so you'll pay nothing out-of-pocket. Plus, prevention means you are less likely to need expensive procedures down the road.
- Necessary Visits: When you visit an in-network dentist, you'll pay a reduced fee for covered services such as fillings, root canals and crowns after you meet your deductible. On top of that, your policy may pay part of the procedure fee if you haven't yet reached your annual limit.
- Potential Procedures: Many policies have annual maximums of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you need multiple crowns in one year, for example, you could still pay out-of-pocket, but much less than if you weren't insured.
- Cosmetic Services: Dental insurance doesn't cover procedures such as, teeth whitening. However, your savings on preventative care and other services can free up money to pay for additional visits.
Most plans follow the 100-80-50 coverage structure. That means they cover preventive care at 100%, basic procedures at 80%, and major procedures at 50%, or a larger co-payment. And, don't forget that dental plans have limitations. Every plan has a cap on what it will pay during a plan year - that is called the annual maximum. If you need large procedures done, try to space them out so that you don't reach your annual maximum too quickly!
Did you know? A dentist can detect diseases such as leukemia and diabetes. That means regular dental checkups can contribute to a healthier body and overall, healthier life!