How to get dental insurance 2021 • Compare plans • Benzinga



Buying dental insurance is similar to buying health insurance – and just as confusing. You may be able to purchase it through your employer, in which case you will need to choose the option that makes the most sense for you and your family. If you cannot purchase dental insurance through an employer, you can purchase it yourself. Learn more about where you can find dental coverage and what to look for.

What is dental insurance?

Dental insurance is a type of insurance coverage that works much like health insurance. It helps cover dental expenses including cleanings, fillings, extractions, bridges, crowns, and dentures. You will pay a monthly premium in exchange for the coverage. As with many types of insurance plans, there is often a deductible, annual maximum, coinsurance and coverage exclusions.

Do you need dental insurance?

The need for dental insurance depends on your financial situation, the dental needs of you and your family, and the coverage you have access to. To see if it’s worth it, it helps to know how it works.

How dental insurance works

With dental insurance, you pay a monthly premium (or have it deducted from your paychecks) in exchange for the cover.

Like health insurance, dental insurance has coinsurance, which is a percentage that you pay for a covered service. Routine cleanings are often 100% covered, so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. More in-depth procedures can be covered at 80% or even 50%, which means you pay for half of the procedure.

Dental insurance also generally has a annual coverage limit. For example, a dental plan may have a coverage limit of $ 1,500. This means that it will pay up to $ 1,500 in benefits per year. All dental costs beyond this limit are your responsibility.

Dental coverage also varies. Not all plans cover orthodontics (braces) or dental implants. Dental plans generally do not cover cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening.

Ultimately, whether you need dental insurance depends on how likely you are to use it and whether it covers the services and procedures that you need.

Where to buy dental insurance

Here you have basically 3 options:

  1. Through your employer
  2. Via the Medicare Marketplace
  3. In private directly from a company

Let’s take a closer look at these 3 options:

Many people can purchase dental insurance through an employer. However, not all employers offer dental insurance, and if they do, you may only be able to enroll at certain times of the year or if you’ve had a significant change in your life, like a wedding or a baby.

If you do not have access to dental insurance through an employer, you can purchase it yourself. An easy place to buy coverage is your state’s health insurance Marlet. You can purchase dental insurance if you also purchase health insurance plan in the market.

Just like buying coverage through an employer, you can only purchase health and dental insurance in the market at certain times. Open enrollment is usually once a year, and you can also enroll if you lose your health insurance coverage or experience a life event.

You can also purchase dental insurance at any time from dental insurance companies. While it may seem like a long time, you can also use sites like to get quotes from multiple dental insurance providers at once.

What to consider when purchasing dental insurance coverage

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing dental insurance. While it can be tempting to just look at the monthly premium, it’s best to dig into the details of the plans you are considering. Here’s what to look for:

What type of dental plan is right for you?

The type of dental plan can affect which dentists you can see and how claims work. Preferred Dental Provider Plans (DPPO) have a network of providers, which is a group of dental professionals who have contracted with the insurance plan. You can see dentists outside the network, but you pay more if you do.

A dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) also has a network, and you choose a primary care dentist from within that network. You will generally not be covered if you see a dentist outside the network.

Also known as fee-for-service plans, dental benefit plans allows you to see any dentist you want. These plans tend to be more expensive than DPPOs and DHMOs.

Dental discount plans are not insurance plans. Instead, you pay an annual membership fee and present your card to participating dentists. You get an initial discount without having to file a complaint.

What is the amount of the deductible?

Dental plans generally have a deductible, which is the amount you pay for covered services before your plan starts paying. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be.

How high is the annual maximum?

As noted above, dental plans generally have an annual maximum. The higher the maximum, the higher your monthly premium will be.

What are the coverage levels of a plan?

Dental insurance plans tend to categorize the services you receive into 3 categories:

  • Preventive: This includes cleanings, x-rays and sealant.
  • Basic: This group includes fillings, simple extractions, and root canals.
  • Major: This category includes crowns, bridges and dentures.

Many dental plans are 100/80/50. This means that preventive care is 100% covered. Basic care is 80% covered, which means you pay 20%. Major care is 50% covered, which means you pay half. All coverage is subject to the annual maximum.

Plans vary in how they categorize dental care, so take a close look at the terms of your plan.

Is there a waiting period?

Most dental plans also have waiting periods. Preventive care is usually taken care of immediately, but you may have to wait 6 months to 1 year or more before receiving basic or major care. Dental insurance companies have waiting periods so that people buy dental insurance well before they need a significant amount of dental work. If you buy dental insurance because you need a basic service or a major service, be prepared to wait or pay out of pocket.

Are there any exclusions from coverage?

Carefully review any policy exclusions. Generally, policies do not cover cosmetic procedures like bleaching and veneers, but there may be other exclusions like braces depending on the policy.

The best dental insurers in Benzinga

Finding the right dental coverage can be overwhelming. Here are the carriers recommended by Benzinga to help you in your search.

Choosing a dental plan

To choose the best dental insurance plan, compare at least 2 or 3 plans. Look at the coverage levels, if there is a network and the waiting period. If a family member has special dental needs, such as a teenager who will need braces, look for this coverage as well. Choose a plan that fits your budget while still providing the coverage you need. As always, check back to Benzinga for more insurance information in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I purchase dental insurance directly from a provider myself?


Can I purchase dental insurance directly from a provider myself?


Melinda Sineriz


You can purchase dental insurance yourself. You can visit the websites of dental insurance companies directly and apply. You can also use sites like to get quotes. If you want professional assistance, consider speaking with an insurance broker. Insurance brokers can get quotes from several companies and help you find coverage that meets your needs.

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Is It Worth Paying For Dental Insurance?


Is It Worth Paying For Dental Insurance?


Melinda Sineriz


For many, purchasing dental insurance is worth it. Even though there are maximum coverage, each coverage is useful, especially if you have more complicated and expensive dental procedures.

If you are younger and don’t have dental problems, you may not need dental insurance. You may find it cheaper to pay out of pocket or seek treatment at a local dental school. If you have a family, dental insurance can help. And, of course, do what you can to keep your teeth healthy, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups.

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