Dental Insurance for Dummies: The Top 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Individual Dental Insurance Plans

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In today’s challenging economy, there are a number of tips smart consumers can follow to ensure they get the most they possibly can out of their individual dental insurance plans.

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Today DentalInsurance.com, a leading innovator and provider of dental insurance and discount protection to individuals and employers, announced the top 10 tips for helping consumers to maximize the benefits of individual dental insurance.

The Top 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Individual Dental Insurance Plans

1.         Dig into the details to find the right plan. The availability of information online to help individuals find high-quality, affordable dental care is at an all-time high, which means individuals can protect their dental health in spite of a struggling economy. Before consumers select an insurance provider, they should use trusted insurance websites to obtain all the facts they need to make the best choice. For example, consumers should compare coverage, exclusions, and the calculation and payment of benefits. In addition, those who already have a dentist that they want to keep may want to ask their dentists about the plans they participate in and recommend.

2.         Get regular checkups. Dental insurance is rarely for emergencies only. After a consumer has selected an individual dental insurance plan, the most basic way to ensure they get the most from it is to visit their dentist regularly. Doing so will help to ensure they get the preventive care they need to stay healthy. In addition, however, consumers stand to benefit from their dentist’s broad understanding of dental insurance in general, which can help guarantee consumers get the most value for their money.

3.         Understand the plan’s benefits to maximize returns. As with all investments, it is in consumers’ best interests to understand what they are paying for. Fortunately, the law requires that consumers with dental coverage receive a description of their benefits. They can therefore fully research the coverage, limitations, and exclusions of their plans and use the benefits to the maximum.

4.         Plan together for dental health. Together, consumers and their dentists should develop a personalized dental plan that goes beyond regularly scheduled checkups and exams. A personal dental plan may be as simple as brushing and flossing on a regular basis, or it may include corrective care and the steps needed to carry it out efficiently and effectively within the terms of the consumer’s current or anticipated dental plan. Later, when their personal dental needs change, consumers can use the same online tools to re-evaluate their plan options to gain additional savings.

5.         Delay work, if advisable, to avoid exceeding annual maximum benefits. As part of dental planning, consumers should consult with their dentists and, if possible, delay work that would push costs over what they are covered for by their plans. Individual dental insurance plans may work on a calendar year basis or they may be subject to other start and end dates. Consumers should check with specific carriers for details.

6.         Control expenses with a “predetermination” or “pre-treatment” review. Consumers who are considering an expensive treatment are wise to have their dental carrier confirm coverage in advance. Often, dentists’ receptionists are able to do this for patients during their visits. Not only will consumers know in advance what portion of the costs their dental plan will pay, but the carrier or dentist may also be able to recommend less costly options.

7.         Know who controls dental treatment decisions. Consumers should ask whether a plan operates under a least expensive alternative treatment (LEAT) approach, which is sometimes referred to as least expensive professionally acceptable alternative treatment (LEPAAT). When a plan uses this type of guideline, it may not cover treatments that the consumer’s dentist would recommend or that the consumer would prefer.

8.         Know where to go for answers fast. Emergencies are a part of life, and dental emergencies can happen at any time. To ensure they get the most from their individual dental insurance plans, consumers should program their dentist’s and insurance carrier’s customer service phone numbers into their mobile contact lists and bookmark important sites in their mobile browsers. In addition, when travelling, consumers should know how to quickly find a local dentist that is covered by their plan if needed.

9.         Be prepared to get creative to cover the costs of unreimbursed expenses. Even with the best research and planning, there may be some expenses that consumers are unable to cover using their dental plan. In some cases, employers and Uncle Sam may be able to help. For instance, some consumers may be eligible to take a voluntary salary reduction through their employer for the amount a plan will not cover, and then have the amount of the reduction reimbursed tax-free. Consumers should consult a tax-attorney or accountant for details and other possible options.

10.         Don’t pay more than necessary for dental insurance. Consumers stand to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on the cost of dental work by investing in individual dental insurance. However, there is no reason to pay more than needed to ensure adequate coverage. DentalInsurance.com can help individuals compare prices for dental insurance and discount protection so consumers can save money. By simply entering a zip code on the home page at http://www.dentalinsurance.com, individuals can receive dental insurance quotes and learn how much money they could be saving!

“There are many ways consumers can make the best use of their individual dental insurance plans,” DentalInsurance.com Director of Business Development Avery Smith explained. “DentalInsurance.com has been in the business of helping people get the most affordable dental insurance for their needs since 2001, and these tips are meant to help anyone use an individual dental plan in the smartest way possible.”

About DentalInsurance.com
Based in Los Angeles, CA, DentalInsurance.com has been the preeminent dental insurance and dental discount plan comparison shopping experience since 2001. A leading innovator and provider of dental insurance and discount protection to individuals and employers, DentalInsurance.com was the first company to enable consumers to compare, apply for, and purchase dental insurance and discount protection from top-rated insurance carriers online via the company’s website at http://www.dentalinsurance.com. Working diligently to deliver the most competitive carriers and plans nationwide, DentalInsurance.com provides individuals, families, and businesses quality dental coverage to fit every budget and lifestyle.

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Avery Smith, Director of Business Development

Shawn Patrick
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