Most people think dental insurance is not worth the investment because they have healthy teeth. As with other types of insurance, it’s most useful when you have an emergency situation that you didn’t anticipate. You might be surprised to know that many people across the United States have dental emergencies every day that would cost thousands of dollars without insurance. Sometimes it takes a dental emergency for people to become adamant about maintaining dental insurance.
Losing a front tooth isn’t a pleasant experience, and it’s also one that people want to resolve as soon as possible. The benefit of dental insurance is that it accommodates preventive care as well as emergencies. Yet there’s often still a question about whether buying dental insurance is worth the cost. It’s a question that’s worthy of consideration, especially since not all dental insurance policies are the same, nor do they all offer the same value. The information below delves into different aspects of this topic.
Many employers have reported that a large percentage of their employees do not use the dental insurance that’s provided as part of their employee benefits program. Essentially, there are a lot of people who have dental insurance, but don’t use it. Perhaps it’s because the employer pays the premiums. It’s worth mentioning that when the insured is actually responsible for paying the premium, usage increases. However, under all circumstances, dental insurance is underutilized.
A lot of people purchase dental insurance to cover two preventive care visits that primarily consists of cleanings. When you consider that dental cleanings cost a national average of about $75-$85, then you have to look at the cost of the annual premium and decide whether it would be more cost effective to just pay for the cleaning instead of the premium. The national average for dental insurance policy premiums is about $300, but the range is wide.
Although it might seem like it’s more affordable to pay for teeth cleanings directly, you have to consider the type of policy that you choose to purchase and the dentist that you select. Every dentist will have their own price list, which can vary considerably. If you have a policy with high premiums and out of pocket costs, then you might think you’re better off not getting insurance. However, this goes out the window when you think about the cost of services if an emergency occurs.
Even though dental insurance is good to have when an emergency situation arises, in a lot of ways it’s not like other types of insurance because there are limitations to how much an insurance company will cover for dental emergencies and costly procedures.
Having and Using Dental Insurance
In the event that you have dental insurance and use it for preventative care, then need a procedure that’s costly, you might be surprised to find out there’s a maximum benefit. The maximum will depend on the policy that you have, which is typically a function of the annual premium. It’s not uncommon for the maximum benefit to be a few thousand dollars when the cost for a major procedure is double or triple that amount.
There’s also the issue of deductibles that are often required before the coverage applies. This means the insurance company will only pay the bill after you have reached the deductible. The maximum benefit means they will stop paying after you’ve reached the maximum. Unfortunately, the cleanings that you receive will often count towards the maximum benefit.
Simply put, there is no one answer concerning whether dental insurance is worth the cost. You’ll need to assess the value of different policies and how they might accommodate your unique needs.