How can I get dental insurance? What are my options and benefits when comparing policies?
Looking to get dental insurance? Whether your employment situation has recently changed, you’re dissatisfied with the group plan your work offers, or you’re tired of neglecting dental visits just because you don’t want to pay for them completely out-of-pocket without insurance, getting dental insurance is a great way to take charge of your dental health while saving money.
With so many dental insurance options to consider, it’s important to shop around carefully before committing to a plan. You may want to consider coverage amounts, costs, and the size of the provider’s network so you can make an informed buying decision. After all, when it comes to your family’s health and finances, it’s worth putting in a little extra work to ensure you’re making the right choice for you.
Nowadays, it’s easy to get an affordable dental insurance policy online. With Guardian Direct®, you can get a dental insurance policy within minutes, with guaranteed acceptance and instant approvals*. We’ll walk you through the entire process of comparing available dental coverage plans and helping you get a dental insurance plan that best suits your needs.
How to compare dental insurance coverage plans
Dental coverage plans vary greatly from provider to provider and from location to location. Many dental insurance companies offer multiple tiers of plans to allow you to customize your coverage based on your needs. These plans vary in how much they cost and at what percentage they cover certain types of dental services, among other variables.
Typically, insurance companies separate dental treatment into three distinct categories: preventive, basic, and major services. While there is no standard classification for each category, preventive services typically include cleanings, checkups, and x-rays; basic services typically include fillings and simple extractions; and major services typically include complex extractions, implants, and root canals, among other procedures.
Guardian Direct offers three types of plans:
Guardian Direct Starter is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable plan to help you cover the cost of preventive care. It covers preventative services at up to 100% and basic services at up to 50%, subject to waiting periods and annual maximums. While not available in all states, Guardian Direct Starter is the most affordable option starting at just $20/month**.
Guardian Direct Core may be ideal if you visit the dentist frequently and are considering more complex dental work. It covers preventative services at up to 80%, basic services at up to 50%, and major services at up to 50%, subject to waiting periods and annual maximums.
Guardian Direct Achiever is a great choice if you visit the dentist frequently and you’re looking for full-coverage dental insurance. It covers preventative services at up to 100%, basic services at up to 70%, major services at up to 50%, and orthodontia at up to 50% for children under 19, subject to waiting periods and annual maximums.
Note that coverage amounts, costs, and even annual maximums may vary depending on your location. Before you commit to a dental insurance plan, be sure to request a quote based on your zip code.
Do dental insurance benefits vary by insurance company?
Typically, dental insurance benefits vary from insurance company to insurance company. Coverage amounts, provider networks, plan options, covered services, and even whether a certain plan is offered in your state will depend on the insurance carrier you’re looking at. That’s why it’s so important to shop around and compare policies before you get a dental insurance plan.
When comparing dental insurance plans, it’s important to make sure the monthly premiums fit comfortably in your budget. But premium costs aren’t the only factor you’ll want to take into account before making your decision. Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before settling on a plan:
How much coverage do I need? Are you planning on just going to the dentist for your annual cleanings, or do you see more complex dental work in your future? Consider your dental health needs and how much you’re willing to pay out-of-pocket should you develop any more serious dental conditions.
How much will this plan ultimately end up costing me? Your monthly premium isn’t the only cost you’ll have to work into your budget. Review your policy to make sure you’re aware of any applicable deductibles, copays, annual maximums, and coinsurance costs.
What dentists will I be able to visit? You’ll typically enjoy the most savings when you visit a dentist in your insurance provider’s network. Make sure the company has dental providers conveniently located near your home or work. Or, if you’re set on sticking with your current dentist, look into how much coverage you’ll receive if they are out-of-network.
Who can be covered under my plan? Are you looking for a plan that covers just you, or your entire family? Look into the dental insurance company’s rules about who can be considered a dependent under your plan.
When can I start using my benefits? Some dental services are subject to waiting periods, during which no benefits will be paid for certain services. Guardian Direct has no waiting periods on most plans for preventive care and up to a 12-month waiting period on other services.
Are there dental insurance policies worth getting?
While dental insurance can pay off in the long run, it is a financial commitment. And while affordable dental insurance plans are out there, you may be wondering if dental insurance is even worth it.
Anyone can benefit from dental insurance. Not only can dental insurance help you save money on the cost of both preventive and more serious treatment, but research shows that it may also contribute to your overall health. According to a 2019 survey by the NADP, Americans with dental benefits were found to be more likely to go to the dentist, take their children to the dentist, receive restorative care, and experience greater overall health.¹ That same survey also found that individuals without dental benefits were significantly more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes.²
The American Dental Association advises everyone to visit the dentist regularly for the treatment and prevention of oral disease.³ Since dental insurance can help cover the cost of those routine visits typically at up to 80-100%, it can help contribute to your overall oral health while helping you save you money.
Taking good care of your oral health is important no matter your age...and studies show that many people could use more dental care than they’re currently receiving. The CDC reports that cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases among children, with about 20% of children aged 5 to 11 having at least one untreated decayed tooth.⁴ The CDC also reports that over 1 in 4 adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay, and nearly half of all adults over 30 show signs of gum disease.⁵ Having a dental insurance policy can make visiting the dentist and taking care of your oral health both more affordable and more convenient.
Can I customize my dental insurance options?
Dental insurance isn’t necessarily one-size-fits-all. If you currently receive dental benefits from your employer, you may only have one group plan option offered to you. But if you choose to purchase dental insurance directly from an insurance provider, it’s possible to find much more flexible and customizable coverage.
Most insurance companies offer multiple plans so you can customize your coverage to suit both your and your family’s needs. Perhaps you have children and you want to make preventative care a major priority when selecting a plan. Or maybe you’re getting older and you want to purchase dental insurance that covers part of the cost of dentures, root canals, and implants. Whatever your situation, it’s possible to find a plan that’s catered to your individual needs and budget.
Should I get dental insurance? – Insights
Choosing what dental insurance to get is a personal decision, but anyone can benefit from a high-quality plan. If you’re interested in taking better care of your oral health or simply want to make sure you’re well prepared for any unexpected dental problems that may arise, dental insurance may be worth considering for you.
We’ve compiled a few resources to help you make an informed decision as to whether you should get dental coverage– and start the enrollment process once you’re ready.
How much should you expect to pay for dental insurance? Learn how much dental insurance typically costs.
Wondering, “where can I get dental insurance online?” Learn how and where to start.
If you don’t receive dental benefits through your employer, getting dental insurance directly from an insurance provider might be a good option for you. Learn about individual dental insurance.
What type of plan should you get? Learn about Dental PPO plans and how they’re different from DHMO plans.
Is dental insurance really worth it? Learn whether dental insurance might pay off for you depending on your situation.
Interested in getting covered dental treatment right way? Learn about dental insurance with no waiting periods.
Ready to get a dental insurance plan? Start here.
Insights for the people.
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https://www.whydental.org/about/industry-overview (2019), accessed June 2021
https://www.whydental.org/about/industry-overview (2019), accessed May 2021
https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/home-care (2020), accessed May 2021
https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/index.html, (2021), accessed May 2021
https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/index.html, 2020, accessed May 2021
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.(exp.05/22)