Are your dental benefits keeping pace with your growing family? Consumers consider dental coverage a “very important” part of their health care plan. Simply having benefits isn’t enough. Here are must-haves for every stage and age of your family’s life:
Look For: Enhanced Benefits
Adults in this age group (20-39) generally face fewer oral health challenges. However, you’re more likely to have a family or to consider starting one soon. And since clinical studies suggest pregnant women may benefit from additional dental cleanings, look for a plan that offers enhanced benefits.
Look For: Low or No Cost Preventive Services
Once your baby makes her debut, take her to the dentist within 6 months of getting the first tooth—and no later than her first birthday.
Pediatric care (including dental) is one of the 10 Essential Health Benefits required of health insurance plans by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many benefit companies embed this pediatric dental coverage within their major medical plans. Others make standalone dental plans available to those purchasing medical coverage for their kids.
Typically, a dental plan will cover most or all of preventive care costs if you or a family members visits an in-network dentist. These dentists have agreed to accept the plan’s negotiated rate as full payment for these services. Preventive services for adults generally include 2 visits within a 12-month period, including a cleaning and bi-yearly X-rays. Kids receive the same benefits, with the addition of dental sealants.
Look For: Orthodontic Benefits
Orthodontic coverage may be a consideration for your school-aged kids. Tooth misalignment can have a negative impact on oral health, making it difficult to brush and floss.
Even if teeth appear to be straight, your dentist may suggest a visit to an orthodontist. He or she will ensure proper development and alignment once the first permanent teeth arrive (around age 7).
Empty Nest Parents
Re-evaluate your family plan and consider your own needs. As you age, you’re more likely to require restorative procedures, such as replacement fillings, root canals and crowns. And as your kids get older and leave the house, they may have to find a plan on their own.
Keep your family smiling: Visit the dentist on a regular basis for professional cleanings and preventative care.