Saturday, August 13, 2022

How Long Before Dental Insurance Kicks In

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Searching For Dental Insurance Plans With No Waiting Period

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Do you want to go with an insurance company that wont impose annoying waiting periods? Spirit Dental offers a variety of plans to suit the needs of individuals, families, and seniors. And the best part is there arent any waiting periods for preventive, basic, or major services! Signing up is simple, and you can contact us anytime with questions about our plans.

What Does Dental Care Cost If Youre Uninsured

Like the price of insurance, the out-of-pocket price of dental care varies somewhat based on where you live. Youll pay more in an area with a high cost of living.

The ADA Health Policy Institutes 2013 Survey of Dental Fees compiled the average U.S. costs for some common procedures:

  • Teeth cleaning: $85.
  • Complete series of X-rays: $124.
  • Silver dental filling: $125.
  • Front tooth root canal: $762.
  • Bicuspid root canal: $879.
  • Molar root canal: $1,111.

An important note usually a root canal is followed by a crown, although the procedures are charged separately.

Average prices for root canals, compiled by FAIR Health, vary based on the tooth.

Can I Buy Dental Insurance Without A Waiting Period

A waiting period is typically the time period following your coverage start date during which no benefits are paid. In most plans, typically there are no waiting periods for preventive care, such as cleanings, exams, and X-rays. Basic services such as fillings and simple extractions have a waiting period of six months or less, depending on your plan. Major dental work, such as root canals, crowns, implants, and braces typically have a waiting period of 12 months or less, depending on your plan. Guardian Direct® dental insurance plans dont have a waiting period for preventative care, and have only a 12 month or less, depending on your state, minimum waiting period for major dental work like root canals or implants.

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Cosmetic Care Is Never Covered

In todays competitive world, jobs, opportunities and even romance can be affected by your smile and how you feel about it. Insurance companies dont care. If you have multiple cavities on front teeth the solution they will pay for is white fillings. Although white fillings are not bad even the best white fillings microscopically look like sandpaper as compared to tooth enamel. So imagine what happens when you eat cherry pie or have a glass of red wine. Yep youve got it. White fillings turn a light shade of pink. This might work during breast cancer awareness week but for the other 51 weeks it is not so cool. Also I have seen white filling catch food between the teeth causing tooth decay on adjacent teeth.

I cant count the times insurance companies have declined to pay for more comprehensive and aesthetic porcelain crowns because they want their customers to experience the consequences of bubble gum and bailing wire dentistry with white filling alternatives.

I had patients who have let insurance companies influence their decision on accepting large white fillings up front come back later regretting their decision. Many of them decided to pay out of pocket to do it right in the first place. Although they are much happier today they paid a heavy price. They paid the deductible and co-pay for the fillings and then for the full coverage porcelain crowns. Plus they had to go through an extra dental procedure.

NO yearly Maximums

Best For Basic Coverage: United Healthcare

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United Healthcare

  • 10 plans, 8 with no waiting periods
  • Maximums in some plans range from about $1,000 to $3,000
  • Available nationwide

We went with United Healthcare because it has eight dental insurance plans with no waiting periods for preventive care and basic. Also, the high-end plans have generous coverage maximums at a reasonable premium per month.

  • No waiting period for Basic care

  • No waiting period for Preventative care covered at 100%

  • Shorter waiting periods on Major coverage for some plans

  • Some of the plans only cover

  • Basic care at 35% on day 1

    Plan availability varies by state

United Healthcare is a prominent nationwide brand for insurance with a top rating from A.M. Best. It insures 30 million people nationwide and is underwritten by the Golden Rule Insurance Company. The company has a robust network of providers of roughly 182,000. United Healthcare’s dental plans are available in most states through employers and direct, but the plan features may vary based on where you live.

There are no waiting periods on Basic and Preventive care, generous annual maximums on the higher levels, and shorter, six-month waiting periods for Major coverage on many of its plans. In addition, several plans cover preventive at 100%. There are also no age restrictions on coverage. Moreover, the premiums are lower than we expected. For example, the monthly premium for a woman under 50 in California ranges from $24 to $64, depending on the plan.

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What Alternatives Are Available To Traditional Dental Insurance

Dental insurance isnt for everybody. Typically, it makes the most sense for people with no dental problems who only need preventative care. Even a very basic policy will usually cover dental check-ups, cleanings, and x-rays. Many people find they spend less on dental insurance than they would pay for preventative care out-of-pocket.

But dental insurance is far less helpful if you have a problem which needs immediate treatment. At best, youll have to deal with waiting periods. At worst, the procedure you need might not be covered at all.

Dental Discount Plans, also referred to as Dental Savings Plans, are another way to save. For around $10 to $12 a month, you can join a plan where youll be issued a special membership card. Simply present the card at the offices of any of the 110,000+ participating dentists nationwide for instant savings at the time of service.

Unlike dental insurance, Cigna discount plans have no annual limits, no waiting periods and no restrictions on pre-existing conditions. Your discount card starts working about 72 hours after making your first payment. Plus, plans are available which cover not just you but your entire family.

Cigna dental insurance provides excellent coverage if you only need preventative care. But if you have existing dental problems which need treatment right away, a Cigna dental discount plan is the faster way to save.

Usually Only Applies To Certain Benefits

Typically, the dental plan will not apply the waiting period to all benefits, as it is understood that the plan will pay out on certain basic coverages every year for dental benefits plan members anyway.

Understanding which coverages fall into the waiting period is important. Your dental insurance plan likely categorizes coverages in three groups:

  • Basic: Basic procedures may have a three to six month waiting period, and “Major” procedures may have a six-month to a one-year waiting period.
  • Preventative: Preventative procedures may not have any waiting period. Therefore some benefits may be accessible despite a waiting period, such as X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments.
  • Major Work: Major work should be defined in your policy wording and may vary from company to company. Beware of taking on major work without consulting with your plan first.

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The Two Things Your Dental Insurance Should Do

Theres much to consider before deciding on a dental plan, but your dental insurance should do these two things:

  • Provide comprehensive dental benefits, especially preventive care
  • Provide access to a dental network
  • Preventive care can keep you and your family healthy and may lessen the need for more costly dental procedures down the road. Utilizing dentists within the network will provide savings dental care for you and the whole family.

    Find The Best Dental Insurance With No Waiting Period

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    There are a few crucial factors to consider when searching for the best dental insurance with no waiting period. We recommend you decide whether there are certain treatments that youd be willing to wait for compared to treatments you will need regularly. While it may be challenging to find dental insurance for braces with no waiting period, you may be able receive that treatment a couple months down the road.

    While full coverage dental insurance with no waiting period is less common, you can still get some priority treatments without a wait and get more invasive treatments in 3-6 months, depending on your plans schedule.

    We recommend you take a close look at the dental insurance waiting periods and maximum amounts your plan will pay. It is more common for PPO dental insurance to have no waiting period compared to HMOs. However, waiting periods can vary depending on the company. These factors will help determine which dental plan is best for you.

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    Waiting Periods And Dental Health Don’t Mix

    Dental plans are notorious for waiting periods. These waiting periods apply to non-preventative care and can last between a few months and a full calendar year from the time you first sign up for coverage.

    But keep in mind, your oral health isnt going to wait for your benefits to kick in. If you need non-preventative care, like a root canal or filling, these waiting periods can have detrimental consequences.

    Studies show that oral health plays a direct role in your overall health. If a dental problem goes untreated, bacteria can spread into the gumline and enter your bloodstream leading to gum disease as well as a host of other problems, such as infection, heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, and more.

    Every year there are stories of patients who have been hospitalized because they feel they have to put off dental treatment until their insurance kicks in.

    We dont believe patients should opt into a system that encourages them to wait for necessary treatment. Youre paying for insurance the entire time, shouldnt you be able to access the care you need when you need it?

    Examples Of How The Dental Insurance Waiting Period Works

    If you decide to buy a dental benefits insurance plan because you just found out that you need a crown, the insurance waiting period could prevent you from being able to cover the procedure immediately when you purchase your dental insurance. Waiting periods can last up to a year on certain major procedures.

    • Example 1: Joan needed a crown. She contacted her dental insurance company to see what coverage she had for the procedure. Her insurance company said that she did not have any coverage for the procedure since she only had her dental insurance for three months and any crown procedures had a six-month dental insurance waiting period. Once the waiting period has elapsed, then dental benefits will be fully accessible.
    • Example 2: Anna wants to visit a dentist for a checkup and cleaning, but her dental plan waiting period is not over yet. She is worried that the dentist will need to take X-rays and charge her a lot for these services. She calls her dental benefits plan administrator and finds out that although she has a one-year waiting period for “major” work like crowns, and bridges, that all the basic coverages are included. She is delighted to find out that her X-rays will be covered, as well as her cleaning, and if they find any cavities, her plan will cover that too. Since every plan is different, she was happy she called as was able to get access to some of her benefits right away.

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    How We Chose The Best Dental Insurance For With No Waiting Period

    We looked at many variables when comparing the dental insurance policies with no waiting period. We started by choosing plans that had no waiting period in their policy description. Then we reviewed the number of programs available without a waiting period, the network size of the company, the number of states where it’s available, the annual maximums, and deductibles. We also compared coverage and the rates quoted to determine the best one. Lastly, we looked at the company’s ratings from unbiased sources. Also note: It is essential to investigate the policy stipulations for where you live.

    Family & Individual Dental Insurance

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    Oral health coverage does not come as one size fits all. Some may need insurance only for themselves, whereas others may be in the market for insurance for the entire family.

    Patients can purchase individual dental insurance plans through the marketplace when selecting their health insurance coverage or directly purchased through the carrier. Premiums for individual plans tend to be lower than family plans as only one individual is covered.

    Family dental insurance plans cover the entire family and typically have higher premiums as more people seek coverage. Most family plans have allowances for two exams annually per plan member. Patients should find the right blend of insurance coverage that matches the entire familys oral care needs while still being affordable.

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    We Accept Dental Insurance

    We always strive to make your treatment experience at Combs & Associates Family Dentistry as seamless and stress-free as possible. At the same time, however, we recognize that sometimes the cost of dentistry in itself can be a source of stress. Thats why we accept many forms of dental insurance. Our team is happy, not just to hep you understand your coverage, but also to file claims on your behalf. We can also give you a general idea of how insurance will mitigate the cost of certain dental services.

    Youre always welcome to if you have questions about our dental insurance policies or your treatment plan. Were eager to do whatever is within our power to help you achieve a happy, healthy smile!

    Tips For Buying Dental Insurance

    As youre shopping for a dental insurance policy, make sure that your current dentist accepts the plan youre considering . Licensed insurance brokers like eHealth make it easy to search for plans that have your current dentist in network. You can start browsing dental insurance plans using eHealths plan finder tool or find individual and family plans that include dental coverage.

    Before enrolling in any dental coverage, be sure to read the fine print to make sure you understand what youll be responsible for paying out of pocket, whats covered versus whats not, and what your deductible will be. You can save money by only buying what you need stand-alone policies these days are very customizable to suit your needs and budget. If you like, eHealths team of knowledgeable licensed insurance agents can walk you through your options. Just give us a call during business hours to get personalized help.

    On a final note, dont put off shopping for a dental insurance plan. As mentioned, most plans have a waiting period of up to a few months before coverage will officially kick in, so the sooner you purchase a policy, the sooner you can start using your dental benefits.

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    How Do Dental Savings Plans Work

    When you join a dental savings plan, you gain access to a network of dentists who have agreed toprovide discounted rates to plan members. You pay the discounted rate directly tothe dentist after receiving dental care.

    • Save 10-60% on dental care, with reduced rates from 140,000+ dentists.
    • Use whenever needed: no maximum annual or lifetime spending limits.
    • Discounts on all included dental treatments within 72-hours of joining.
    • Everyone is accepted, there are no background checks.
    • Many plans include savings on prescriptions, vision and hearing care and otherhealthcare services.
    • Have dental health problems, or dental work already in progress? Good news youstill save with a dental plan.

    When Does Health Insurance Start At A New Job

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    Employers decide when health insurance benefits begin for new employees. Some jobs may start benefits immediately. Others may not kick in health coverage for a month or two.

    Section 2708 of the Public Health Service Act, which was part of the Affordable Care Act, lets a group health plan or health insurance issuer apply a waiting period of up to, but not to exceed, 90 days before coverage kicks in.

    So, newly eligible employees should get health benefits coverage within the first three months of eligibility. All calendar days are counted, including holidays and weekends. Your health insurance plan can kick in earlier than 90 days, just not later.

    For instance, if your employer wants to use the first day of the month or the first day of your payroll period as the enrollment date, it could apply a shorter waiting period before providing health insurance coverage.

    Since the waiting period time will be 90 days or less, youll need to ask your benefits administrator at work to tell you the start date.

    That said, most employers make new employees eligible for health insurance coverage when they begin their jobs, as long as they make the companys eligibility requirements. For instance, companies often provide health benefits to full-time employees when theyre hired but may wait longer for part-time employees or not offer them health coverage.

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    Best Overall: Spirit Dental & Vision

    Spirit Dental

    • Maximums range from roughly $1,200 to $5,000
    • Available in 48 states

    We chose Spirit Dental & Vision as the best overall because it has coverage for all dental care from day 1 and offers many plan options. Also, it has generous annual maximums, up to around $5,000, depending on the plan you choose.

    • No waiting periods for any category of care

    • Lifetime deductible of $100 for each member

    • Preventative covered at 100% from day 1

    • Teeth already missing arent covered

    • Coinsurance is low for year 1 on some policies

    • All plans are not available in every state

    Offered by Ameritas Life Insurance Corp, Spirit Dental & Vision is a nationwide provider that has been around since the 1880s and has high ratings from both AM Best and Standard & Poors. You can buy a dental insurance plan with no waiting periods directly or through an employer, and it includes policies for individuals, families, kids, and seniors.

    Spirit Dental is the best overall for a variety of reasons. With Spirit Dental, your coverage begins on day one of your effective date, and you have many plans and levels of coverage to choose from. You choose your dentist.

    One thing to note is that Spirit does not cover prosthetics for missing teeth unless the prosthetic also covers a tooth lost while the subscriber is insured with them. In comparison, the premium rates vary based on where you live and other variables. An online search found that for a woman under 50 in CA, the range was roughly $44 to $108.

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