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How dental insurance plans work
How Dental Insurance Plans Work

Many consumers nowadays are keen to take out dental insurance, but haven’t quite got there yet, as they aren’t quite sure how dental plans work. The fact is that dental insurance is probably one of the most useful and comprehensive medical insurance policies out there (assuming you get the right policy for your needs of course).

Even if you simply visit your dentist for two check-ups a year and have a few treatments, you can find that your dental costs can soon mount up. If you need emergency treatment or more complex work, then you could end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for treatment. So, the answer to how dental insurance plans work is, in part, that they could save you a lot of money! Let’s illustrate this by looking at how dental plans work in practice.

Dental insurance policy payments

When you are accepted for this kind of dental insurance coverage, you will be given a premium payment; this is the fee that you will pay every month to get the dental insurance coverage you need. Be aware that your actual dental insurance coverage may not begin immediately. You may have to wait a period of time before you can make a claim. Once you are in the position to claim, however, all you need to do is to have your dental treatment as usual.

Paying your dental insurance bills

These kinds of dental insurance policies are designed to help you recoup some or all of your costs for the dental treatment that you have in the course of a policy year. Keep in mind that not all plans will cover all forms of treatment, and how dental plans work will be determined by your specific dental insurance plan's terms and conditions.

There are generally two ways that this kind of dental insurance will help meet the costs of your dental bills. In some cases, you will be able to claim for all of your costs, and in others you will have to claim a percentage of the costs.

  1. Claim back policies:  The majority of policies will work on a claim back basis. So, you have the treatment at the dentist, pay your bill, and get a receipt. You then submit a claim (keep the receipt handy as you will need to submit this too) and the dental insurance company will then send you your money. This is traditionally how dental plans work.

  2. Direct policies:  When looking at how dental insurance plans work, you may also find insurance options where the insurance company will pay the dentist directly, so you won’t need to go through the claims process. Your dentist may, for example, run a managed plan in his/her office in partnership with a dental insurance company so he/she can handle all the paperwork.

When you look at how dental insurance plans work and how dental plans work, make sure to also consider the features and benefits of the policies in which you are interested. In an ideal world, your dental insurance will give you the coverage you need at an affordable cost. So, now you understand how dental insurance plans work, think about how much you paid for dental treatment last year; chances are you would have saved money with dental insurance!       

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