Not everyone needs glasses. And, while almost everyone will go to a doctor at some point in their lives, if they’re younger and healthy, even that can be a rare thing.
But, in an ideal world, everyone goes to a dentist at least twice a year, which is why we’ve compiled this list of the top 5 dental insurance companies.
Similar to healthcare insurance providers, dental insurance companies come in a variety of “flavors” and are highly competitive, as well. Some people may still feel that dental insurance is unnecessary since they can pay cash for a bi-annual checkup. However, out-of-pocket dental services can be costly.
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The Five Best Dental Insurance Providers
There are a few key factors that determine how dental insurance companies should be ranked.
Among these are:
- Plan offerings
- Geographic coverage
- Budget plans or discounts
- Plan features (e.g., orthodontia, etc.)
Along with affordability and customer reviews, different resources regularly rank dental insurance companies based on these and other metrics.
We’ve combined the top choices of organizations such as Investopedia, The Balance, and Consumer Affairs, among others, to produce a list of the five best dental insurance companies.
1. Delta Dental Insurance
Ranked best for families on a budget and best for orthodontics, Delta Dental has over 60 years of experience covering individuals, groups, and employers.
This company is one of America’s largest insurance companies, providing coverage to almost 60 million members.
2. UnitedHealthOne Dental Insurance
Considered one of the best for family plans, United Healthcare is also a major provider of individual and family dental insurance plans. Fortune magazine has recognized UnitedHealthOne as one of the top-ranking companies in the insurance and managed care sector.
3. Humana Dental Insurance
Tops for discounts and value, Humana Health Insurance is based in Kentucky and has over 50 years of experience offering dental plans. With its network of more than 130,000 dentists, Humana requires no underwriting or pre-enrollment checks to qualify for coverage.
4. Cigna Dental Insurance
With the broadest, global coverage, Cigna works with 35,000 employees to provide healthcare products and services to more than 75 million customers.
Cigna Dental boasts a network of over 93,000 dentists and dental specialists in more than 297,000 locations, serving almost 17 million U.S. dental customers.
5. Aetna Health Insurance
Aetna is a large health insurance company founded in 1853 in Hartford, Connecticut. With over 50 years of experience offering dental benefits Aetna dental plans have over 13 million members. More than 372,000 dental providers and locations in their Dental PPO network.
Understanding Dental Insurance Plans
In California, the most widely accepted dental insurance plans require waiting periods and annual benefit maximums to provide a lower monthly cost.
Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO) plans typically have a three to six month waiting period for basic services. Those basic services are fillings and a twelve-month wait for major services (e.g., root canals, oral surgery, crowns, etc.).
Typical benefit maximums, or annual spending limits, range from $500 to $2,000 annually.
Most dental insurance companies offer a variety of plans to help suit your needs. Here is a brief overview of the most common plan types:
DHMO Insurance Plan (Dental Health Maintenance Organization)
DMHO plans are typically the most affordable dental insurance. They do tend to have limitations such as choosing a primary dentist for your care and for specialist referrals refer you to specialists, all within the network.
There is no annual maximum spending limit and no waiting periods with DHMO plans, and often limits for treatment frequency.
DPPO Insurance Plan (Dental Participating Provider Network)
Also known simply as “PPOs” are among the most widely accepted plans. You will save money by staying with in-network dentists, but unlike a DMHO plan, you can go out-of-network. Referrals are not required to see a specialist.
There is a 6-12 month waiting period for any treatment aside from basic, preventive care. The maximum spending limits are usually $1000 to $1500.
Dental Indemnity Insurance Plan (“Traditional”)
This type of plan is not common and is the most expensive type of dental insurance. Similar to a DPPO plan, but with annual maximum spending limits of $2,500 to $3,500 or more, there are some waiting periods.
It is a member reimbursement plan that requires plan members to pay dentists out-of-pocket then reimburses the members afterwards. Some plans do impose a waiting period for restorative care. The top providers are Delta and Aetna but only through group insurance plans.
There are also a few key dental insurance terms that you should be familiar with, as well:
- Annual Spending Limit: The amount your insurance will cover annually.
- Coinsurance: The percentage of costs of a covered dental service you pay.
- Copay: Set fee you pay for a dental service covered by insurance.
- Deductible: The amount you pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
- In-network Providers: Dentists who have a contract with your insurance company.
- Waiting Period: The time you wait before major dental procedures are covered by your plan.
Your Local Resource for Health, Vision, and Dental Insurance Needs
J.C. Lewis Insurance is a long-time family-owned firm and based in Sonoma County. Our team of expert brokers offers individual and family dental insurance plans.
In addition, we provide small business and individual health insurance plans from only the leading health insurance carriers that are licensed to do business in California.
In addition to being experienced, professional brokers, we are licensed and certified by each of these insurance carriers to offer coverage to individuals, families, and small group employers in addition to Medicare supplemental and prescription drug plans for seniors.
When you’re shopping for vision, dental, or health insurance for your employees, or for you and your family, you probably have several questions and concerns.
At J.C. Lewis Insurance Services we welcome your questions about insurance coverage and you can be confident that we will help you find the right solution.