Individual dental coverage is the dental insurance coverage sold directly by the insurance company to its clients. This is one of the most popular forms of insurance coverage. This article provides valuable information regarding:

  • Is individual dental coverage difficult to find?
  • What are referral plans?
  • What you can do if you are not able to get individual dental insurance?

Individual dental insurance is dental coverage sold directly from insurance providers to clients. If you don’t have dental coverage from an employer, you may find that many companies do not offer individual dental plan insurance. Despite this, however, it is important that you do seek dental coverage of some kind to ensure the health of your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, if you have to pay the full cost of dental care, you may have a hard time paying your dentist bills. Perhaps even more seriously, without dental coverage, you may be tempted to skip regular cleanings and checkups, a decision that could lead to serious dental health problems.

Why dental insurance companies don’t offer dental insurance to individuals

To understand why so many insurance providers do not offer an individual dental insurance plan option, you need to understand the way that insurance works. When you insure your car or your home, you are playing a game of chances. You pay a specific amount each month – let’s say $50 a month on your home – and in exchange the insurance provider will pay for damage to your home in case your home burns down or is damaged. You have the peace of mind of knowing that you are covered. However, if nothing happens to your home then the insurance company makes a considerable profit. If your home does burn down, then even if your total contributions do not add up to the value of your home, you will get the full value of your home. The insurance provider will still make a profit because other home owners will make few or no claims but continue to pay each month.

In contrast, the average dental patient simply is too predictable. While accidents may cause broken or missing teeth, most patients require a dentist appointment every six months and the occasional extra work, such as a root canal. Without risk, insurance companies wanting to offer individual dental coverage plans would stand to lose a lot of money. After all, no patient would agree to pay more in premiums than they would pay in dental services each year. However, if the insurance provider fully paid for the necessary dental work of each patient and took less than the cost of that dental work in premiums (which is what they would have to do in order to attract policy holders) then the company would lose money. In essence, this is why true individual dental coverage is so difficult to find.

Where to find individual dental coverage

Just because individual dental coverage plans are not easy to find does not mean that you should give up, however. If you are traditionally employed, talk to your employer about setting up dental coverage for employees. In some areas, employers can get tax benefits or other benefits for doing so, and of course offering more benefits can help your employer attract the best workers. If you can get dental coverage from your employer, you can often get very affordable insurance options.

If this is not an option for you, you may need to seek out individual dental coverage directly from insurance providers. Often, insurance companies call these plans “referral plans.” Sometimes, these individual dental plans are also known as “buyers’ clubs.” These work by reducing your dental costs so that they are affordable. You sign up with a third party and get a list of dentists in your area after you have paid a monthly or yearly fee. When you visit one of these dentists as a plan member, you get discounts on regular dental rates. Then, you simply pay your dentist your reduced rate. For many individuals who do not qualify for traditional dental insurance, this can be a good individual dental insurance option.

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