Best Self-Employed Dental Insurance Plans [Guide]
The Best Dental Insurance Plans For Individuals Who are Self Employed
If you’re self-employed, you know that finding affordable dental insurance can be a challenge. There are many options, and knowing which is right for you can be challenging. In this blog post, we’ll break down the best dental insurance plans for individuals so you can decide about your coverage. Stay tuned for more!
Dental Insurance: The Basics
Many patients have questions regarding dental insurance coverage and how it works with their dental care. Below we will go over some of the most common questions about dental insurance.
How Does Dental Coverage Work?
Dental insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay premiums (a set fee paid periodically) to the insurer, who agrees to pay part of the cost of your dental care. Dental plans may be offered as part of a health insurance plan or purchased as a stand-alone policy. Almost all dental plans use a network of dentists from which you can choose. Some plans may require you to visit only in-network providers for covered services, but many plans now offer out-of-network coverage. When you see an in-network provider, the plan will pay a higher percentage of the costs than if you went out of network. Going out of network usually means paying more out of pocket.
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Most dental plans cover preventive care such as cleanings and x-rays at 100 percent. That means the plan pays all the costs for these services, and you don’t have to pay anything. Other benefits are subject to copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance rates, meaning you will pay a portion of the costs, and the insurer pays the rest. The type of plan you have will determine how much you pay for services. For example, an HMO plan typically has lower monthly premiums but higher service copayments. A PPO plan usually has higher monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs when you need dental care.
Importance of Dental Insurance for the Self-Employed
According to a 2016 study, nearly 10% of Americans are self-employed. And that number is only growing as technology makes it easier than ever to start your own business. But being your boss has its downsides—one of which is not having employer-sponsored dental insurance.
Dental insurance is an often underrated benefit. But good dental care is essential to maintaining overall health—necessary for the self-employed without employer-sponsored health insurance.
According to the American Dental Association, poor dental health can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Moreover, untreated oral pain can lead to missed work days and decreased productivity—something no self-employed individual can afford. In short, dental insurance is a crucial way to maintain your health and well-being as a self-employed individual.
Self-Employed Dental Insurance: What Options Are Available?
More than 15 million Americans are self-employed, and many do not have dental insurance. This can be a real problem when dental problems arise, as they often do. Dental problems are not only painful, but they can also be expensive to fix. Fortunately, self-employed dental insurance plans exist.
1. Traditional dental insurance:
This plan covers preventive care, such as regular checkups and cleanings, plus essential services like fillings, crowns, and extractions. Depending on the project, it may also cover primary services like bridges and dentures.
2. Discount dental plans:
This type of plan is not insurance but gives members discounted rates from participating providers in exchange for an annual fee. Services are often limited to preventive care, but some programs may include discounts on more extensive procedures.
3. Dental HMO plans:
These plans require members to select a primary care dentist and receive most services from that provider. Unlike PPOs, they may also limit providers to dentists in the network. However, out-of-network benefits are usually not covered.
4. Dental PPO plans:
According to the dental health maintenance organization, this type of plan requires members to select a primary care dentist and receive most services from that provider but also allows members to choose from other providers in the preferred provider network. Out-of-network services may be covered at a lower rate.
5. Dental indemnity plans:
Also known as fee-for-service plans, these plans allow members to choose any provider and receive coverage for a percentage of the total cost of treatment.
6. Dental savings plans:
Like discount dental plans, these plans allow members to access discounted rates from participating providers in exchange for an annual fee. However, unlike insurance, members are responsible for paying the total amount at the time of service.
7. Individual Dental Insurance Plans
Several companies offer dental insurance plans for individuals. These plans usually have a monthly premium and may have an annual maximum benefit. However, some programs also have a waiting period before coverage begins. Therefore, comparing different methods to find one that meets your needs and budget is essential.
8. Dental Savings Plans
A dental savings plan is similar to a discount dental plan in that you pay an annual fee to receive discounts on dental services from participating providers. However, with a dental savings plan, you deposit money into the program, which can be used to cover the cost of services at any time. This can be a good option if you know you will need extensive dental work and want to save money on the total cost.
9. Health Savings Account
If you are self-employed and have a high-deductible health insurance plan, you may be eligible to open a health savings account (HSA). An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that can be used to pay for medical expenses, including dental costs. Money deposited into an HSA grows tax-deferred, and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free. This can be a good option if you want to save money on your taxes while having funds available to pay for unexpected medical or dental expenses.
10. Affordable Care Act
You can also get dental coverage through certain health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, it’s important to note that not all ACA exchanges offer dental plans—so research before signing up for health insurance through an exchange.
Benefits of Dental Insurance For Self-employed People
1. Cost Savings:
Most dental insurance plans will cover a portion of the cost of preventive care, such as cleanings and exams. This can help to reduce the out-of-pocket expense for necessary treatments.
2. Preventative Care Coverage:
Many dental insurance policies cover preventative care, such as regular checkups, cleanings, and X-rays. This can help to prevent costly dental problems from developing.
3. Emergency Care Coverage:
When necessary, dental insurance covers emergency care such as extractions, root canals, and bridges. This protection is especially beneficial for self-employed people who may not have the resources to pay for these treatments out-of-pocket.
4. Variety of Plan Options:
The dental insurance industry offers a variety of plans to meet the needs of self-employed people. Some plans may offer lower premiums, while others provide more coverage for expensive treatments and procedures.
5. Access to Quality Care:
Dental insurance typically gives access to quality care from trusted providers. This ensures you receive the best possible treatment for your dental health needs.
6. Affordable Care:
Many dental insurance plans are affordable and can be tailored to fit a self-employed person’s budget. This can help make getting quality care more cost-effective.
Dental insurance plans often offer flexible payment options and can be customized to meet the needs of self-employed individuals.
8. Reimbursement for Out-of-Pocket Expenses:
Many dental insurance plans reimburse out-of-pocket expenses the program may not have covered. This can help to reduce the financial burden of necessary treatments.
9. Tax Benefits:
Self-employed individuals can claim a tax deduction for the cost of their dental insurance premiums on their annual income tax return.
10. Peace of Mind:
With dental insurance, self-employed people can have peace of mind knowing that they will be covered in case of an emergency or unexpected dental issue. This can provide financial protection and help ensure they receive the necessary care.
Is It Necessary to Purchase Dental Insurance?
Dental insurance is not legally required in the United States, but that does not mean it is unimportant. A good dental insurance plan can help to cover the cost of preventive care, such as cleanings and x-rays, as well as necessary treatments, such as fillings and crowns. In addition, dental insurance can help to offset the cost of major procedures, such as root canals and implants.
While the monthly premium for dental insurance may seem unnecessary, it is essential to consider the potential costs of not having coverage. Dental insurance can provide peace of mind for people with good oral health, knowing they are prepared for any eventuality. Conversely, dental insurance can be a lifesaver for people with poor oral health.
How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?
Self-employed individuals in the US often struggle to find affordable dental insurance. According to a recent survey, the average cost of dental insurance for a self-employed person is $532 per year. This amount can be challenging, especially for those struggling to meet ends. In addition, dental insurance costs can vary significantly from one state to another. For example, Self-employed people in California pay an average of $816 per year for dental insurance, while those in Texas spend an average of just $426. As a result, Self-employed individuals in the US often have to pay a significant amount of money for dental insurance.
How to Choose the Best Dental Insurance Plan for You?
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a dental insurance plan. For example, do you want coverage for preventive care, basic procedures, or significant procedures? Do you want in-network or out-of-network coverage? What is your budget? Answering these questions can help you understand the best dental insurance plan.
1. Determine what kind of coverage you need.
The first step in choosing a dental insurance plan is to decide what kind of coverage you need. Do you want coverage for preventive care, basic procedures, or significant procedures? Preventive care includes routine cleanings and X-rays. Essential functions include fillings and extractions. Major courses include crowns, implants, and oral surgery. Most plans will cover preventive and primary procedures at 100%, so you will only have to pay your deductible or copayment. However, primary procedure coverage typically requires coinsurance, which means you will share the cost of the procedure with your insurance company.
2. Consider in-network vs. out-of-network providers.
Most dental insurance plans have a network of dentists they have contracted with to provide services to their members at reduced rates. If you visit a dentist within this network, you will likely pay less out-of-pocket than a dentist out-of-network. However, it’s essential to make sure that the dentist you choose is in-network before making an appointment because otherwise, you may be responsible for the total cost of the visit.
3. Compare costs and benefits.
Once you’ve determined what kind of coverage you need and whether you want to see an in-network or out-of-network provider, it’s time to compare the costs and benefits of different dental insurance plans. Some things to look at include monthly premiums, annual maximums, deductibles, and coinsurance rates. Make sure to read the fine print so there are no surprises later on down the road.
Ensuring the dental insurance plan covers your specific needs is also essential. For example, if you are looking for orthodontic coverage, not all plans will cover that service.
4. Choose a plan and enroll!
Once you’ve compared different dental insurance plans and chosen one that meets your needs, it’s time to enroll! Enrolling is typically as easy as completing an application and paying the first month’s premium. Once you are registered, keep track of when your annual maximum renews so that you can take advantage of your benefits throughout the year!
Best Dental Insurance Providers for Self-Employed in the US
Founded in 1979, Careington is a nationwide network of dentists offering self-employed individuals comprehensive dental plans and discounts. With no waiting periods or annual limits, you can save 15-50% from preventative care to primary services like braces and implants.
Ameritas is a leading coverage provider for self-employed individuals. The company offers a variety of plans, including both PPO and HMO options. Additionally, they have no waiting periods or annual coverage limits, and you can receive discounts of up to 40% off most services.
3. Delta Dental:
Delta Dental is one of the largest dental insurance providers in the US. The company offers individual plans with no waiting periods and discounts of up to 50% off most services. Additionally, Delta Dental has a wide variety of PPO and HMO options for self-employed individuals.
Guardian provides comprehensive dental coverage for self-employed individuals. With no waiting periods or annual limits, you can save up to 50% on dental care with Guardian. Their extensive network of over 140,000 dentists provides quality and affordable dental care.
Cigna is another top dental insurance provider for self-employed individuals. It offers PPO and HMO plans with no waiting periods or annual coverage limits. Plus, you can enjoy discounts of up to 40% off most dental services.
With UnitedHealthcare, self-employed individuals can enjoy various dental insurance benefits. The company offers a variety of plans with no waiting periods or annual limits, as well as discounts of up to 40% off most services.
MetLife is a leading provider of coverage for self-employed individuals. The company offers PPO and HMO plans with no waiting periods or annual coverage limits. In addition, you can save up to 40% off most services with MetLife.
Regardless of your chosen provider, finding a dental plan that fits your needs and budget is essential. Take the time to shop around and compare the different programs before deciding. That way, you can get the best coverage for your money.
How To Maximize Your Dental Insurance Benefits?
Below are seven tips for self-employed individuals to get the maximum from their dental coverage:
1. Monitor Your Maximum:
Understanding your maximum benefits and tracking them throughout the year is essential. In addition, make sure you maximize your coverage by taking preventive care services like regular cleanings and checkups so that your significant procedures are covered to a greater extent.
2. Check Your Waiting Periods:
Most dental insurance plans have waiting periods that range from six to 12 months, so it is essential to understand your project and how it fits into your budget.
3. Take Advantage of Discounts:
Many self-employed individuals are eligible for discounts on dental services. Check with your provider or look online for discount programs that can help you save money on preventive care services and effective procedures.
4. Ask About Flexible Spending Accounts:
One way to maximize dental insurance benefits is to open a flexible spending account (FSA). This can allow you to put pre-tax dollars into the history and use it for medical, dental, and vision expenses throughout the year.
5. Keep Track of Your Receipts:
Keeping track of your receipts is essential for self-employed individuals to maximize their dental insurance benefits. Ensure you save all the documents related to your care and keep them handy to have all the information you need when submitting claims.
6. Make Sure You Get Annual Checkups:
To get the most out of their dental insurance, preventive care like regular checkups, cleanings, and routine X-rays are essential for self-employed individuals. Make sure you use your coverage to its utmost potential by taking advantage of the preventive services offered under your plan.
7. Explore Alternatives:
Consider other options if your dental insurance plan doesn’t cover your needs. For example, discount plans and dental savings clubs can provide additional cost savings to help you get the most out of your coverage.
12 Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health While on a Budget
1. Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste:
Brushing your teeth regularly is the most critical step in maintaining good dental health. Make sure to brush for two minutes, and use fluoridated toothpaste to help protect against decay.
2. Floss once daily:
Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles stuck between your teeth. It’s essential for preventing cavities and gum disease.
3. Visit a dentist for regular checkups and cleanings:
Regular visits to the dentist will help identify potential problems early on, saving you money in the long run. Your dentist can also provide tips on properly caring for your teeth at home.
4. Limit sugary and starchy snacks:
Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates can increase the risk of developing cavities. Instead, choose crunchy fruits and vegetables to help clean your teeth while providing essential nutrients.
5. Drink plenty of water:
Water helps keep your mouth moist, which helps fight against bacterial growth. It can also help wash away food particles and other debris from your teeth.
6. Use a fluoride rinse or mouthwash:
A fluoride rinse or mouthwash can protect against cavities and gum disease. Ask your dentist which type is best for you.
7. Quit smoking:
Smoking increases your risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and more. Quitting can help protect your dental health and save you money in the long run.
8. Use a straw when drinking sugary drinks:
Drinking through a straw can limit the amount of sugar that comes into contact with your teeth, which can help reduce the risk of decay.
9. Avoid using your teeth as tools:
Opening packages with your teeth can damage them, leading to costly reparative measures.
10. Ask about affordable dental services:
Dental offices often have programs for uninsured and low-income patients to provide quality care at an affordable price. Ask your dentist about any available options.
11. Invest in a good toothbrush:
A quality electric toothbrush can help you brush more effectively, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Look for one that is ADA-approved for optimal results.
12. Consider dental insurance or discount plans:
Dental insurance and discount plans can reduce your out-of-pocket costs for routine care. Research different policies to find one that best fits your needs and budget.
Although dental insurance is not mandatory and highly recommended for self-employed individuals, not only does having dental coverage provide peace of mind, but it can also save you money in the long run. In this blog post, we have outlined the different types of dental insurance plans available to self-employed people and shared some tips on how to get the most out of your coverage. We hope this information was helpful and encourage you to read our other blog posts for more information about insurance plans.