What is Dental Insurance? – How Does It Work?

Dental insurance policies are the policies that enable individuals develop and make effective budgets for the cost of maintaining an amazing smile. When compared to medical insurance, understanding dental insurance policies is quite easy. Most policies are straightforward and specific regarding what procedures are covered and exactly how much you have to pay out-of-pocket. Dental insurance is often available as part of medical insurance plans, but can also exist as a standalone policy.

Waiting Period for Dental Insurance

Most dental insurance policies have a waiting period that ranges from six to 12 months before any standard work can be done. The waiting periods for major work are often longer and can be up to two years. These periods are set in place by insurance companies to guarantee they profit off a new account and to discourage people from applying for a new policy to cover impending procedures. (For related reading, see: 6 Dental Insurance Plans With No Waiting Periods.)

Deductibles, Co-Pays and Co-Insurance

What is an insurance deductible? This is defined as the minimum amount one must pay before the insurance policy pays for anything. Take for example, if the deductible is $200 and the covered individual’s procedure is $179, the insurance does not kick in and the individual pays the entire amount. Co-pays, which are a set dollar amount, may also be required at the time of the procedure.

Once a deductible is met, most policies only cover a percentage of the remaining costs. The remaining balance of the bill paid by the patient is called co-insurance, which typically ranges from 20% to 80% of the total bill.

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