It can be painful to have a problem with your teeth or gums.
It can be even more painful when you get the bill from the dentist to fix that problem with your teeth or gums.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have dental insurance. Dental insurance will often cover the costs of your routine cleanings and also pick up some or all of the tab for those dental emergencies or more expensive treatments like root canals or crowns.
If you don’t have dental coverage right now, you may be wondering how to get dental insurance. There actually are a few ways to get dental insurance that we’ll look at in this article. And we’ll also look at some other options, that aren’t technically insurance plans, that can help you save on dental treatments.
Get Dental Insurance Through Your Employer
If you have access to a dental insurance plan at work, this may be your best option. A big reason why is that many employers will pay part of your premium for you (usually half or more!). This makes dental insurance plans offered through employers such an attractive way to go.
These plans will often cover regular checkups fully. They’ll also cover a good chunk of the cost or more extensive dental work, if needed.
One thing to keep in mind with these plans, however, is they often have an annual cap on how much they’ll pay out. So be sure to look at the specifics of the plan(s) your company offers and understand what’s covered and what you’ll be responsible for paying.
Shop For Your Own Dental Insurance Plan
Don’t have access to a work-sponsored plan? You can go out and get your own dental insurance. Many companies offer plans, including Delta Dental, Humana, Cigna and United Healthcare.
There are also services like ehealthinsurance.com that will help you compare various the various plans you can purchase. According to their website, there are plans that start as low as $8.95 per month.
As with employer-sponsored plans, be sure to look at the details of the plan and understand what the plans cover and what they don’t. Also, some dental insurance plans will have a waiting period before you can take advantage of the coverage. For major dental procedures, you may have to wait up to 24 months from the time you sign up for the plan until you’re able to get coverage.
Government Sponsored Dental Insurance Plans
There are some government sponsored plans that you may be able to take advantage of.
Some health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act come with dental coverage. If not, you may be able to purchase dental insurance through the ACA at a reasonable rate.
If you are a veteran, you can often get very affordable dental insurance rates though the Department of Veterans Affairs.
How To Save on Dental Costs Without Insurance
You don’t necessarily have to have dental insurance to save at the dentist.
One option to look into is a dental savings plan. This is kind of like a group-buying club for dental services. You pay a yearly fee and get access to a network of dentists who will offer discounts to savings plan members that could be as high as 50%.
Another option (albeit an out-of-the-box one) is to reach out to a local dental school if there’s one in your area. You’ll pay a lot less than you would at a private dentists office… your dental work will just be done by a (supervised) dental student instead of a licensed, practicing dentist. Not an option for everyone, but it can offer some great costs savings.
For more information on dental insurance costs and more, see our other dental insurance articles.