How to Buy a Dental Plan

How to Buy a Dental Plan

June 28, 2018

Are you looking to buy a private dental plan? Whether it’s for you or your family, we have a selection of affordable Individual and Family plans so you can choose the coverage that fits your needs. 

Before you check out your options, here are some things for you to consider before making your decision.

10 Things to Consider When Buying a Private Dental Plan

1.  Monthly Premiums

Your Monthly Premium is what you pay to your carrier each month for your dental coverage. Premiums will vary by plan, so choose a plan that meets your sweet spot between dental needs and budget.

2.  Covered Treatments and Procedures

Take a close look at any plan you may have under consideration to make sure it covers what you need.  Every plan we offer covers preventive care, so you can focus on other care needs as you compare coverage. If you have good oral health and don’t expect to need more than cleanings, you may want a “prevention only” plan. If you anticipate the need for fillings and crowns, you’ll want a plan that includes those procedures in its coverage.

3.  Deductibles

Like healthcare plans, some dental plans have deductibles. A deductible is what you pay before your dental benefits kick in. (Like buying in at a poker game.) The deductible can range from $0 to $100 for individual dental plans. Some plans have an annual deductible and some have a lifetime deductible --so you only have to pay it once for as long as you keep your plan.

4.  Coinsurance

Coinsurance is a type of cost sharing between you and your dental plan, when you need care. You split the cost of your dental care with your carrier at a predetermined percentage, after you have paid your deductible for the year. After you get care, your dentist will send a claim to us and we will calculate your share of costs based on the percentages shown for your plan.

5.  Copayments

If you have a policy with copays, that’s a preset amount that you pay your dentist at the time you get care. Copays can be set for office visits and for specific dental care services. Copays make coverage simple and predictable. Copay plans from Delta Dental of Washington don’t have deductibles.  

6.  Annual Maximum

Annual Maximum is the highest benefit amount your dental plan will pay during the plan year. The benefit amount is the share we pay after deductible, any discounts we negotiate for your services and any share you pay –not the amount your dentist bills. Your annual maximum benefit can stretch a long way.

7.  Out-of-Pocket Maximum

Out-of-pocket maximum is a limit on the amount you pay out of pocket for care during the coverage year. You’ll see this feature on plans we offer for children, sold through the Washington Health Benefits Exchange. 

8.  Dental Network

Maximize your benefits by seeing a doctor who participates in your plan’s network. (Delta Dental has the largest network in the nation, by the way.) They provide service at a discount, and they handle all of your claims paperwork. If you go out of network, it’s on you to make sure they take care of your claims paperwork.

9.  Benefit Period

This is the time frame in which you may use your plan to get care. Most plans have a year-long benefit period, so it’s easy to keep tabs. Annual benefit maximums reset every benefit period, as do most deductibles.  

10.  Waiting Period

It’s the length of time, if any, after your plan starts that you need to wait before you can take advantage of a specific treatment. Waiting periods vary depending on the plan you choose –and if you had prior dental coverage before buying one of our plans, be sure to let us know. This may qualify you to have waiting periods waived. 

Ready to Buy Dental Insurance?

The list above is very high-level information. We recommend you always review plan details and get a quote before you purchase a dental insurance plan. We offer 5 plans with different coverage and monthly premiums.

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