Medical and Dental Insurance
Medical and dental insurance, though devised under the same premise, are really two completely different types of insurance that require separate policies for coverage. Though many would argue that dental care should be included in a medical insurance policy, the fact is that most medical insurance policies carry more provisional benefits for vision care than dental. To learn what specifically is and is not covered in your medical policy regarding dental care, refer to your subscriber summary of benefits. Following is an overview of medical and dental insurance as they apply to one another.
Dental insurance is the least common of all insurance benefits that people carry. The majority of the time, even employer sponsored health care plans do not combine medical and health insurance. While many types of medical insurance plans cover emergency dental care, there are very specific restrictions that apply to coverage. Routine dental care such as examinations, cleaning, fillings, bridgework, and so forth are not covered in any way under medical insurance policies. In fact, dental coverage is usually limited to repair of an otherwise naturally sound tooth that suffers damage as the result of an accident or injury.
Medical and dental insurance are usually separate policies, that when established, cover all dental expenses. While medical insurance may cover repair of a tooth due to injury, dental insurance covers some of the expense of maintaining healthy teeth, including crowns, bridgework and some procedures that are considered cosmetic under medical insurance policy provisions.
Dental insurance can be purchased as a separate policy from your medical insurance policy. Many employers offer both group medical and dental insurance as separate policies, which may provide you with additional savings. When comparing dental insurance policies and deciding to purchase one, it’s important to evaluate your individual circumstances. It might be very advantageous if you have children, but obviously, dental insurance makes little sense if you have none of your teeth left and you have other provisions for dentures.
If you do not have a current dental insurance policy and your employer doesn’t offer you one. You can purchase a separate policy through an agent or a dental insurance company such as Delta or Met Life. An agent will be able to offer you quotes to compare prices and coverage of potential dental policies. You should then evaluate whether the cost of the premium will potentially offer any offset of the expenses you normally pay. If you visit the dentist annually for an exam and cleaning, it may be more cost efficient to simply pay cash.
If you are fortunate enough to have a combined medical and dental insurance policy, take advantage of the benefits provided and visit your dentist regularly. If you have children, but cannot afford dental insurance, contact your local health department for information on programs that various states and counties offer. Many programs provide free and low-cost dental care or coverage for children.
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