As a follow up to my health insurance post last week, here’s a look at a some issues surrounding one big health topic – taking care of your teeth.
For millions of citizens, public or private health insurance provides reliable access to core health services, providing resources for a range of facilities, treatments and other medical care. Holding insurance coverage can provide significant peace of mind in most scenarios, but there are a few limitations to standard policies that should be considered when determining the appropriate level of coverage for your lifestyle.
Dental: A Common Exclusion
Standard health insurance policies only provide for what insurers define as necessary treatments (or benefits), which do not include dentistry for individuals aged 18 and older, chiefly because of the expense typically involved with dental care.
This exclusion causes many adults to go without the dental treatment they need. Fortunately private dental insurance is readily available to help citizens address this gap in their healthcare network.
Dedicated Dental Insurance
A common way for individuals to obtain insurance to cover the cost of dental services is by purchasing it as a standalone product from an insurance provider. This coverage can offset the cost of dental visits, required work and equipment use, which can easily run into the thousands with a relatively minor issue such as an advanced cavity.
Holding dental insurance does not interfere with public medical insurance, so you will still have access to all the standard resources as well as dentistry if needed.
Another advantage of an a la carte dental policy is the ability to cancel coverage at any time, allowing policyholders to more effectively manage their healthcare resources based on their circumstances.
Most insurance providers also offer insurance bundles that combine an existing private health plan with dental coverage for a discounted price. With bundled health and dental insurance, policyholders pay a monthly combined premium for both services and get a more comprehensive network of care in exchange.
These policies can even offer benefits related to dentistry such as special pricing on cleaning and whitening services or lowered rates for outstanding dental health. So a bundled insurance plan can be a cost-effective way to insure against the cost of the vast majority of medical treatments, including dentistry.
Costs associated with dentistry can not only be higher than with many other forms of routine medicine, but represent the most commonly excluded type of specialist care with standard insurance policies. For this reason, individuals likely to need dental work or concerned with the high cost of care in this area would do well to consider taking out a dental insurance policy and smile about their foresight later.
Editor’s Comment: This is a great question to ask when it comes to your health insurance policy. With four growing kids in our house I’m well aware of their dental needs and the costs associated with it. I’d say especially for families with children, dental policies are a piece of the puzzle that should be considered in the health budget.
Questions: Do you have dental coverage? Did it come standard with your health insurance plan or did you purchase an a la carte? Do you think it’s a needed expenditure?
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