Many Americans aren’t eligible for employer group health coverage, which means finding
health insurance and dental coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is their next best option, or for older Americans, through Medicare.
Once they have found substantial health insurance, securing dental coverage is usually the next task.
Unfortunately, not all individual plans include adequate dental coverage, and Original Medicare
doesn’t cover dental at all.
Because of this, many Americans are forced to seek dental coverage elsewhere. Fortunately, there are a number of convenient options to get help with dental care.
Below are six ways you can investigate to see which one is right for you.
1. Stand-Alone Dental Plans
Stand-alone dental plans are insurance plans that are solely committed to providing dental
These type of plans usually have a network of providers that the enrollees must use when receiving services. Normally, you have a pre-set copay for each service that you pay at the time of service.
After that, the plan will pay a portion of the service’s usual and customary fee in your area.
Some plans require you to satisfy a deductible up front, so be sure you investigate that up front.
2. All in One DVH Plans
DVH stands for dental, vision, and hearing.
All in one DVH plans offer coverage for all three of these. Unlike the stand-alone dental plans, many DVH plans don’t have networks, which means you may see any dentist you’d like.
Manhattan Life offers one like this.
A benefit of having their DVH plan is that there are no waiting periods for preventive or basic
Another benefit you get with their DVH plans is that the longer you’re on the plan, the more your benefits grow.
3. Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, is a way a Medicare beneficiary can
obtain dental coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance carriers and take over the beneficiary’s Medicare coverage.
These plans provide regular medical coverage, while usually including extra benefits such as dental.
However, the dental coverage included in these plans is sometimes limited to preventive services only.
Because these plans offer multiple types of coverage, you will want to review the plan to make sure it’s not only the dental coverage you want but also the medical coverage you want as well.
You should also keep in mind that Medicare Advantage plans usually have networks of doctors you must use for both medical and dental benefits.
4. Pre-Paid HMO Plans
Pre-paid Dental HMO plans pre-pay your dentist a fee each month to have you as a patient.
Because the dentist is getting paid monthly by the insurance carrier, they offer you a discounted rate for services.
In order to access your benefits through this plan, you must use the plan's network of providers. You usually also must select a primary care dentist when enrolled in this type of plan.
5. Discount Plans
Discount plans are more like a membership rather than an insurance plan since the insurance
company doesn’t pay for your benefits.
Instead, you simply pay a reduced copay at the time of service. And like most other plans mentioned in this article, discount plans have a network of providers you must use to receive your services.
Discount plans are something to consider when you need an immediate major service since they usually don’t have waiting periods.
6. Spouse’s Employer’s Dental Plan
If your spouse’s employer offers a dental plan, they may offer to carry you on it, even if you
aren’t covered on the medical insurance plan.
You will need to speak with the HR department of your spouse’s employer to find out their rules and restrictions.
Because employers can offer many different types of dental plans, it is important you learn what type of plan it is before enrolling to ensure that you get the coverage you want and need.