There has always been a misconception about health insurance coverage extending towards dental care as part of the coverage they offer. Meanwhile, dental insurance is not covered by health insurance; but instead, it can be purchased as extra coverage alongside your health insurance. However, you can purchase dental insurance mostly as stand-alone insurance separately from health insurance.
The only exception to this case occurs in kids dental insurance, in which the health care law made dental care an essential coverage children under eighteen years of age must be provided with when they purchase a health insurance policy, without paying for the dental coverage but only the health insurance coverage they purchased.
There are two different ways in which you can purchase a dental insurance coverage plan with and without restrictions. You can purchase a dental insurance plan through the marketplace or outside the marketplace.
– Purchasing dental insurance through the marketplace
Although not all dental insurance companies sell their coverage plans in the marketplace, but a few of them do sell their coverage plan in the marketplace with several restrictions. You will be required to purchase a health insurance plan before you are eligible for the purchase of dental insurance.
However, before you can purchase dental insurance alongside health insurance in the marketplace, you will have to meet the enrollment period.
– Purchasing dental insurance out of the marketplace
If you go against the buying of dental insurance plans in the marketplace by purchasing outside the marketplace, you will be free from the several purchase restrictions you are prone to encounter if you attempt to buy a dental insurance coverage plan.
There are several types of dental coverage plans that differ in the level of coverage they offer and their costs. These plans include
– Dental Health Maintenance Organizations Plan (DHMO plan)
Dental HMO plan offers in-network coverage for the insured dental care, in which your insurer will assign you to a specific dental care provider for the treatment of your oral health conditions in exchange for your monthly premium.
– Dental Preferred Provider Organizations plan (DPPO Plan)
Dental PPO plan does not restrict the insured to the in-network dental services they offer. You can decide to get out-of-network dental services, but it usually comes with expensive out-of-pocket costs.
– Dental Exclusive Provider Organizations Plan (EPO plan)
EPO plan is similar to provider organizations plan where they restrict the insured to in-network dental care services.
– Dental Indemnity Plans
The dental indemnity plan is different from the other types of plans that offer in-network or out-of-network dental services. They offer the insured the chance to choose any dental care provider to attend to their oral health conditions. Your indemnity plan provider will cover a portion of the cost of dental care you incur and leave you with the responsibility of paying the rest of the dental bills.
– Direct Reimbursement (DR)
In a direct reimbursement plan, the dental insurance functions as property insurance, such as auto insurance and home insurance. These plans will provide the insured with reimbursement of the expense they incur irrespective of the network of their dental care provider.
In this plan, you will have to pay for the cost of your dental bills before you are required to file a claim for the reimbursement of a particular percentage of the dental bills.
There is a saying that goes thus, “all fingers are not equal.” Not everyone can afford the cost of monthly and annual premiums they are expected to pay for their insurance policy to remain active.
However, it would be best if you did not shy away from the benefits of dental insurance by choosing between your health and money because there are numerous programs specifically designed to provide dental insurance coverage to low-income individuals.
Low-income dental insurance is a form of dental insurance specifically designed for individuals unable to purchase traditional dental insurance due to their low-incomes.
There are three types of government-controlled programs designed for this specific purpose, and they include Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP.
Medicare is a government-controlled health insurance program designed to provide limited dental care coverage to eligible individuals. The eligibility requirements for Medicare coverage include:
If you are above sixty-five years of age
If you are younger but disabled
Medicaid a government-funded health insurance program specifically controlled by the state; hence the coverage they offer varies with States. Generally, Medicaid provides coverage to individuals below twenty-one years of age. You will need state verifications to benefit from their coverage if you are above twenty-one years of age. However, depending on your state, Medicaid provides limited emergency dental services to eligible individuals.
CHIP is an acronym for Children Health Insurance Program designed specifically to provide medical coverage, such as dental services for several oral health conditions to children below nineteen years of age.
Apart from the government-funded health insurance, such as Medicare, Medicaid and children’s health insurance program, there may be some other ways individuals with low-incomes can benefit from dental care services. They include local resources and dental and dental hygiene schools.
– Local resources
You may be able to receive dental care for your oral health conditions through other programs or dental offices in your state. All you have to do is to call your state health department for possible referrals.
This primarily involves the treatment of patients with any oral health conditions by students under the supervision of a licensed dentist or dental hygienist at a lower cost. The main purpose of this is to provide the students in the dentistry field with experience.