It is crucial that you understand your coverage if you are looking for cheap health and dental insurance plans. Between the time that transpires between getting dental insurance quotes online and signing up for coverage you should learn how your dental insurance policy works.
Three things to look out for are the cost shares (deductible, coinsurance and copayments), the waiting period and the maximum benefit. Sometimes the waiting period is too long and/or the cost share is too high and/or the annual cap is so too low. In these cases, you may be better off self insuring.
Both the potential dental expenses and the available dental coverage are more limited when compared to medical care. If the best policy that you can get will cover $5,000 per year, this is the most that you will lose if you don’t have coverage.
Unfortunately, most policies that you can buy directly from the insurer will have even lower annual limits. Some will have $1,000 annual caps.
Health care is not something that you can self-insure for. This is because you can have medical expenses that can be hundreds of thousands of dollars if you are in a major accident or develop a serious medical disease. A good health insurance policy can pay the bulk of these expenses after you have met your deductible.
Many dental insurance policies will have waiting periods before you are allowed to use the major benefits. This can mean that even though preventative care is covered right away, you may not be able to use your coverage for a dental extraction until you have been insured for 2 or 3 years.
The cap on benefits is often so that your annual premiums come too close to the maximum you can get back from the policy in a year. This is not a good sign. If this is the case, consider self insuring.
Although it is important to have good dental care, it is often not necessary to have dental insurance. Dental insurance is a good benefit to have, but not an essential one. Be sure that you are able to understand how any insurance policy works before you commit to a policy.
Dental insurance for self employed men and women is available from several places although in many cases the best solution may not be dental insurance at all. The places to look for dental insurance and/or dental coverage include group insurance (as a dependent of your spouse), dental insurance that is part of policy that includes medical insurance for self employed individuals, stand alone dental insurance, and dental discount plans.
Dental Insurance through Your Spouse’s Job
Dental insurance that one can get on their own often provides less coverage than plans that are available through groups. This means that going through your spouse’s or domestic partner’s employment is often the best option.
However, it pays to look at other options because in many cases an employer will subsidize the cost of dental and health insurance for their employees, but not do so for their employees’ dependents. Also sometimes even the price for the employee’s insurance is higher than a policy one might purchase on their own.
Individual Dental and Health Insurance in One Policy
Another option to look at is dental insurance that is included as part of a health insurance policy you purchase directly from the insurer. If you are self-employed and need dental insurance you probably also need health insurance. You may get the best deal when you purchase them together.
Standalone Dental Insurance
Policies that provide dental insurance and nothing else are often poor values. Preventative care may be covered right away, but you will probably have to pay premiums for two years before any mayor work is covered.
Because these plans are often overpriced for the benefits offered, many people are better off with a dental discount plan (see below) or simply paying for dental expenses out of their pocket.
The reason for this is that insurance companies would lose money on dental insurance if they allowed people to purchase a policy and get substantial coverage right away. It would be too easy to purchase a policy, pay only a few months worth of premiums while getting major work done. Insurance companies call this “adverse selection.”
This is a major reason why purchasing dental insurance through a group or as part of a health insurance policy is often better. Since group dental insurance plans are typically purchased only during an open enrollment period the insurance company is likely to get more premiums from individuals who do not need immediate dental care. When an insurance company sells dental insurance as part of a health insurance policy, they also get much less adverse selection and therefore are able to give you a better price and better value.
Dental Discount Plans
This is often the best option for the self-employed. If you can’t purchase a good plan through your spouse’s employer-sponsored insurance and buying a policy that includes both dental and health insurance isn’t attractive, a dental discount plan may be an excellent option.
These plans are not dental insurance although they can be a much better deal than standalone dental insurance.
When you purchase a dental discount plan you get a discount on services. You may get 25% or 35% off your dental care. The annual price for a dental discount plan is often a fraction of a stand-alone dental insurance policy; the annual cost may be the equivalent of the cost of two or three months of dental insurance premiums. This can result in major cost savings for you.
Although health insurance discount plans are often oversold and overpriced, dental discount plans are often very well priced and offer good value to the consumer.
When making decisions about self employed dental insurance be sure to look at all your options. If you have a spouse or domestic partner, you may get the best deal through their employer. If not you may want to look at dental coverage that is included as part of a health insurance policy. If neither of this are viable options a dental discount plan may be your best option.