Here are the Best Dental Insurance Plans of 2023 – MarketWatch

Partner content: This content was created by a business partner of Dow Jones and researched and written independently of the MarketWatch newsroom. Links in this article may result in us earning a commission. Learn More

Routine dentist visits are paramount to maintaining a healthy smile. And with a dental insurance plan, you can avoid paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.
The American Dental Association estimates that in 2013, adults without dental insurance plans paid on average between $685 and $1,624 per year out of pocket for market value dental care. All age groups face more financial obstacles to dental care than any other health service, yet children face lower financial barriers to dental care than working-aged adults and seniors, as average costs tend to increase as one grows older.
The consequences of avoiding the dentist only worsen the longer you wait. Plaque buildup, cavities and late detection of oral cancer can all be prevented with regular dentist visits.
Still, cost is the primary barrier to getting dental care, according to the ADA. This is especially evident in recent years: About 15.2% of the U.S. population who needed dental care between 2013 and 2016 did not get it due to affordability, lack of coverage for their procedures and other financial hurdles.
Fortunately, you have plenty of budget-friendly dental insurance policies to choose from. To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best dental insurance providers on the market.
 
*Starting rates; exact rates vary by location, age and other factors.
As the largest dental insurer in the United States, Delta Dental and its 39 independent dental insurance companies offer comprehensive dental coverage in all states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories. The firm’s network includes over 150,000 participating dentists nationwide, serving more than 80 million customers.
Delta Dental offers HMO and PPO plans as well as managed fee-for-service and discount options.
Here’s a sampling of the dental insurance plans available for a 40-year-old person living in Raleigh, North Carolina:
Plan
Monthly premium
Annual deductible
Annual maximum
Cost-sharing
Waiting period
Delta Dental Preventative Plan
$24.21
$50
$1,000
100% for preventative services; 50% for basic services; major and orthodontic care not covered
None
Delta Dental Enhanced Plan
$38.75
$50
$1,000
100% for preventative services; 70% for basic; 50% for major; orthodontic care not covered
No waiting period for diagnostic, preventative or basic care
Delta Dental Premium Plan
$55.04
$50
$1,500; lifetime maximum of $1,000 per person for orthodontia
100% for preventative care; 80% for basic services; 50% for major and orthodontic services
No waiting period for diagnostic, preventative and basic services; 12 months for orthodontic services
The Anthem insurance company covers 42 million people who use its insurance coverage policies in 14 states, making it a significant insurance provider in the U.S. There are a number of dental insurance plans to choose from and members have access to valuable resources and digital tools that can be very helpful.
A big part of what makes the Anthem company different from other insurance companies is its size. The company is part of the larger Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and offers one of the largest networks of dental providers in the country. There are also some downsides with insurance from Anthem, like non-customizable plans and limited availability in certain parts of the country.
Here are the Anthem dental insurance options for a 47-year-old, non-smoking male living in Atlanta, Georgia:
Plan
Monthly premium
Annual deductible
Annual maximum
Cost-sharing
Waiting period
Essential Choice PPO Platinum
$50.55
$50
$2,000
100% for preventive and diagnostic services; 20% for basic restorative services; 50% for major restorative services; 50% for orthodontic services
3 months for basic care; 6 months for major care
Essential Choice PPO Incentive
$48.35
$50
$2,500
100% for preventive and diagnostic services; 40% for basic restorative services; 70% for major restorative services; 50% for orthodontic services
None
Essential Choice PPO Gold
$41.20
$50
$1,500
100% for preventive and diagnostic services; 20% for basic restorative services; 50% for major restorative
3 months for basic care; 6 months for major care
Essential Choice PPO Silver
$32.20
$50
$1,000
100% for preventive and diagnostic services; 50% for basic restorative services; 50% for major restorative services
3 months for basic care; 6 months for major care
With around 20 million members and a market share hovering 8%, Kentucky-based Humana Inc. is a rising star in the American health insurance market. It provides a wide range of dental policies and a network of 260,000 dentists across the United States. Humana offers PPO, DHMO, discount and value plans for every budget.
Here’s a sampling of dental insurance plans available for a 50-year-old person living in Colorado:
Plan
Monthly premium
Annual deductible
Annual maximum
Cost-sharing
Waiting period
Preventative Value PPO
$17.99
$50 per person
Unlimited
100% for routine cleanings, exams and X-rays; 50% for fillings and extractions; major services not covered
None
Bright Plus PPO
$25.43
$50 for individuals; $150 for families
$1,250 per person
100% for routine cleanings, exams and X-rays; 60% for fillings and extractions; major services not covered
3 months for basic care
Complete Dental PPO
$52.99
$50 for individuals; $150 for families
$1,250 per person for first year; $1,500 for second year onward
100% for routine cleanings, exams and X-rays; 80% for fillings and simple extractions; 50% for major services
6 months for basic care; 12 months for major services
Indiana’s Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America covers more than 13 million customers nationwide. Its nationwide network offers access to 300,000 dental providers.
Renaissance Dental insurance offers a decent selection of dental insurance plans, as well as a Healthy Savings Card serving over 175,000 participating locations.
The company boasts high-quality customer service, answering 99% of calls on first contact last year.
Here are Renaissance’s dental insurance plan offerings for a 50-year-old person living in Los Angeles, California:
Plan
Monthly premium
Annual deductible
Annual maximum
Cost-sharing
Waiting period
Essentials Plan
$32.19
$0
$1,000
100% for preventative care; 50% for basic services; 0% for major services
6 months for minor and restorative services
Plan II (PPO)
$40.20
$50
$1,000
50% for all services (preventative, minor and major)
No waiting period for preventative services; 6 months for basic services; 12 months for major services
Plan III
$53.21
$50
$1,000
100% for preventative services; 80% for basic services; 50% for major services
No waiting period for preventative care; 6 months for basic services; 12 months for major services
The MetLife dental insurance network includes thousands of dentists, so you can search by ZIP Code, specialties and even languages to find the right one. Most cleanings and exams are covered 100% for in-network providers. While Metlife gives you the flexibility to see both in-network and out-of-network providers, you will enjoy the biggest savings by staying in the network. As a member of MetLife, you may receive lower fees from MetLife’s in-network partnerships. These negotiated fees are usually 30% to 45% lower than the average and give you lower out-of-pocket costs for dental care.
MetLife is a good choice for businesses that want to give their employees extra benefits and coverage. Unfortunately, MetLife doesn’t have as many options for people who buy insurance on their own, making it more challenging to find the right individual plan and price. Numerous dental insurance providers offer more coverage options to people who independently buy their policies.
Here are the individual dental insurance coverage plans offered through the MetLife TakeAlong Dental plan for a 42-year-old in California:
Plan
Monthly premium
Annual deductible
Annual maximum
Cost-sharing
Waiting period
TakeAlong Dental Low Option
Contact MetLife Dental for more information.
$75
$750
100% for preventive and diagnostic services; 50% for basic restorative services
6 months for basic restorative care
TakeAlong Dental Medium Option
Contact MetLife Dental for more information.
$50
$1,500
100% for preventive and diagnostic services; 70% for basic restorative services; 50% for major restorative services
6 months for basic restorative care; 12 months for major restorative care
TakeAlong Dental High Option
Contact MetLife Dental for more information.
$25
$2,000
100% for preventive and diagnostic services; 80% for basic restorative services; 50% for major restorative services; 50% for orthodontic services
6 months for basic restorative care; 12 months for major restorative care
Minnesota-headquartered UnitedHealthcare is one of the United State’s top three insurance providers. Its UnitedHealthOne provider network offers access to participating dentists across the nation.
UnitedHealthcare dental plans cover preventive care often with no deductible or waiting periods. There’s no maximum age limit on the company’s dental insurance plans.
Here’s a sampling of the plans available for a 30-year-old woman living in Dallas, Texas:
Plan
Monthly premium
Annual deductible
Annual maximum
First year cost-sharing
Waiting period
Essential Dental
$17.98
$50
$1,000
80% for preventative care; 50% for basic services; major services not covered
No waiting period for preventative care; 4 months for basic services
Primary Dental
$24.34
$50
$1,000
100% for preventative care; 50% for basic services; major services not covered
None
Premier Choice Dental
$42.04
$50
$1,500
100% for preventative care; 50% for basic services, 10% for major services
None
Primary Preferred Plus Dental
$48.38
$50
$1,000
100% for preventative care; 35% for basic services; 15% for major services
No waiting period for preventative care and basic services; 6 months for major services
Cigna, one of the top medical insurance providers in the United States, serves more than 17 million dental customers. The Connecticut-based firm offers dental plans starting at $19 per month on average, and its nationwide provider network spans 93,000 dentists across 297,000 locations.
Plans have standard waiting periods of six months for basic services and 12 months for major and orthodontic services. Cigna’s top dental insurance policy, Cigna Dental 1500, offers comprehensive dental insurance for individuals as the only plan providing dental insurance for braces and other orthodontia (though a 12-month waiting period applies).
Here are three plans available from Cigna. Prices are based on Cigna’s national average rates for each plan.
Plan
Monthly premium*
Annual deductible
Annual maximum
Cost-sharing (in network)
Waiting period
Cigna Dental 1500
$35
$50 for individuals; $150 for families
$1,500 per person for preventative and basic services; lifetime maximum of $1,000 per person for orthodontia
100% for preventative care; 80% for basic restorative care; 50% for major restorative care; 50% or up to $1,000 for orthodonti
No waiting period for preventative care; 6 months for basic restorative care; 12 months for major services and orthodontia
Cigna Dental 1000
$30
$50 for individuals; $150 for families
$1,000 per person for preventative and basic services (orthodontia not covered)
100% for preventative care; 80% for restorative care; 50% for major restorative care
No waiting period for preventative care; 6 months for basic restorative care; 12 months for major restorative care
Cigna Dental Preventative
$19
N/A
N/A
100% for preventative care
None
Dental insurance is modeled after standard health insurance, with a few notable differences. Prices for dental insurance plans are much lower — a monthly premium from dental insurance companies typically costs less than $50 and the annual deductible usually ranges between $50 and $100.
Rather than using annual out-of-pocket maximums, dental policies typically place a cap on the coverage you receive for the year. The average maximum for dental insurance plans ranges from $1,000 to $1,500, but the National Association of Dental Plans estimates that only 5% of Americans actually exceed their in-network maximum for the year.
Dental insurance plans use a 100-80-50 cost-sharing model, requiring patients to pay a copayment or coinsurance for services the plan doesn’t cover. The best dental insurance plans usually cover the following:
Other services that are more cosmetic or elective in nature, such as teeth whitening or orthodontic care, typically aren’t covered by dental insurance plans, leaving an out-of-pocket expense for those who want those services.
There are several types of dental insurance, but here are the most common ones:
All of the providers listed below offer DPPO and DHMO plans.
Prices for the best dental insurance vary depending on whether you’re purchasing an individual plan or a family plan, where you live, which dental insurance provider you choose and in some cases, any preexisting conditions that might apply.
For example, based on search results from eHealth, monthly premiums for dental insurance plans range from $11 to $60 per month for a 27-year-old nonsmoking male in Atlanta, Georgia, with most available dental insurance for individuals priced between $25 and $50. The monthly premium for a 59-year-old male in the same area is more likely to be between $25 and $50 or above. For both individuals, the annual deductible will be on average around $50. The average yearly maximum benefit ranges between $1,000 and $3,000, in line with national averages.
Dental insurance premiums typically range between $25 and $50 per month. When your dental insurance’s annual maximum is reached, you may have to pay out-of-pocket charges.
In most circumstances, it is unlikely. Most health insurance policies do not provide dental or vision insurance unless otherwise noted. Unlike health insurance, there is no particular enrollment time for dental and vision insurance. There are some providers, like Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, that allow you to bundle dental, vision and health insurance.
Yes, you can purchase dental coverage as a separate, stand-alone dental plan or as part of a health plan.
Yes, as it can both help you save money on dental procedures and it can be a strong incentive to keep those preventive-care appointments. If you’ve already spent money for the insurance, you’re more likely to go to the dentist. In the long run, a smaller amount spent on cleanings and X-rays can help prevent more money needed for more time-consuming and costly dental procedures.
Cigna and UnitedHealthcare are two of the most accepted dental insurance companies in the country.
The best dental insurance for you will depend on a number of factors, including your location, if you are purchasing the plan for yourself or your family, whether dental insurance is offered through your employer, and the type of dental care you need. Companies like UnitedHealthcare, Cigna and Delta Dental offer plans for individuals with no waiting period for preventative care, while Renaissance Dental and MetLife Dental provide access to large networks of providers. Anthem is a great option if you want access to digital tools and resources.
Many dental insurance plans require a waiting period of months before some services are covered, leaving you with the option of postponing necessary procedures or paying the total cost out of pocket. No-wait dental insurance begins coverage on the first day. Several dental insurance companies, such as Cigna, Delta Dental, Humana and Renaissance Dental, offer dental insurance plans with no waiting period for preventative services.
Copyright © 2023 MarketWatch, Inc. All rights reserved.
By using this site you agree to the
Subscriber Agreement & Terms of Use, Privacy Notice, and Cookie Notice.
Find the best [category]

source

Leave a Comment