Brushing and flossing are key to your dental health. So is choosing the right dental coverage.
While dental insurance doesn’t command the attention that medical insurance does, it also can have significant implications for your pocketbook.
You know exactly what I mean if you have the most common type of health insurance (more on that later) and have ever needed a procedure such as a crown or root canal.
More than 19 million Californians had commercial dental insurance in 2014, and most of them obtained it through their employers, according to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP).
But “in a way, it shouldn’t even be called insurance,” says Jeff Album, a vice president at Delta Dental, California’s largest dental insurer.
Album prefers calling it “a prepaid plan” for preventive and basic services, such as cleanings and fillings.
If you need a more complicated procedure, “you’re going to end up paying a big part of the bill out of pocket,” he says.
Today I’m offering five tips on how to best use your dental benefits to save you money and frustration.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLAN
There are two primary types of dental plans: HMOs and PPOs.
The vast majority of Californians with commercial dental coverage — more than 14 million — have PPOs, the NADP says.
Here’s how a dental PPO works: