The big question that everybody wants to answer about dental insurance is whether the coverage will ultimately save you money. As is true with any type of investment in insurance, the policy details, and your dental needs will likely determine the answer to that all-important question.
Interestingly, MarketWatch reports that 77 percent of Americans have elected to purchase dental insurance. Since every person is different and policies vary widely, the benefits of the decision to buy dental insurance are tied to your unique circumstances and the terms of that policy.
Below are some considerations to evaluate before moving forward with the purchase of dental insurance.
Deductible Amounts, Payout Limits and Premiums
One of the primary factors you must consider is the cost of premium payments. Next, consider the deductible amount you must meet before the dental insurance starts paying. Adding these figures together will give you a starting point for evaluating the cost of the coverage.
Additionally, there is another relevant variable to consider. How much is the maximum annual amount that the dental insurance company will pay? With caps of $1000 or $1500 placed on many policies, people requiring expensive treatments will likely have to pay for most of their treatment out of their own pocket. Now that you have your parameters, you have to decide how hard it is to thread that needle as it relates to your dental health and what types of services you are likely to need.
Likelihood of Using the Insurance
As impractical and expensive as it sounds, there are many people paying for dental insurance who aren’t using it. If you are the type of person who dislikes going to the dentist and puts it off, then you might want to rethink the decision to buy dental insurance. MarketWatch cites the National Association of Dental Plans report that claims one-third of Americans who pay for dental insurance do not use it. Obviously, unless you plan to use the policy the money for insurance is wasted.
Factoring the Probabilities Based on Dental Health Needs
Depending on your age and dental health, you can probably guess the type of dental care you are likely to require. If your dental health is excellent, then you are probably visiting the dentist twice a year for regular cleanings. This may be the extent of the care you require. If you do the math and calculate the cost of each cleaning, chances are you will lose money if this scenario represents the level of care you are likely to need.
Importance of Selecting a Particular Dentist or Specialist
Another factor that impacts decision making about whether to buy dental insurance relates to the importance given to your ability to select your own dentist. While dental insurance is largely a purchase people make to save money on dental care, determining the monetary benefits isn’t the only consideration. If you are a nervous dental patient and have a strong preference for a trusted dentist, then your inability to use that dentist using a specific policy may be the emotional deterrent that pushes you away from buying dental insurance.
The benefits of dental insurance are debatable. It does provide some peace of mind for many people who worry about costly treatments. Since the future is uncertain for us all, it is impossible to look into a crystal ball to decide whether you will benefit by purchasing insurance. Considering the factors above can help you make a decision for yourself based on your likelihood to use or need coverage.