Whether you are considering dental insurance on your own, or as part of a benefits package offered by your employer, dental insurance comes in the same type varieties as health insurance: Indemnity (fee-for-service) plans, Managed Care plans, and a PPO type plan. However, the philosophy on which dental insurance was created is somewhat different than health coverage for the rest of your body and so is the coverage. In general, dental insurance covers four areas.
The type of plan determines such matters as:
- How benefits are accessed.
- Whether treatments need to be pre-authorized
- Whether you will have to deal with bills and additional payments
If you get dental insurance from an employer:
- A Summary Plan Description will describe the basic features.
- If you leave work, you have the right to continue dental coverage under the federal and state laws generally referred to as COBRA.
Pre-existing health conditions do not affect dental insurance. Neither individual or group dental insurance plans ask about your health condition. On the other hand, there is usually a waiting period when a lot of work is required.
If you can get dental insurance, we recommend that you seriously consider it. Many health conditions will affect teeth or gums at one time or another. Check with your doctor or your disease specific non-profit organization to find out how your condition impacts your teeth and mouth.
NOTE: If you are considering purchasing dental insurance on an individual basis, check the rates on AARP dental policies. They are often lower than other dental plans. See: www3.deltadentalins.com/aarp/
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