The quality of oral health can significantly influence overall health and wellbeing. At least two visits to a dentist every year are recommended as part of basic healthcare. Biannual visits to a dentist as part of preventative dental care are recommended by experts to maintain healthy oral and general health because the quality of oral health is an indication of the quality of overall health.
Major oral diseases can also be detected early during dental check-ups. During routine visits to dentists, physical illnesses and conditions such as diabetes and oral cancer can also be detected early. Dental insurance plans are offered in different forms. The types of dental health insurance include indemnity plans, dental PPOs, and dental HMOs. There are also dental discount plans.
Indemnity plans are a very common dental plan in Alabama, Indiana, and many other U.S states. These plans require the payment of monthly or yearly premiums. The conditions of these policies determine the kind of service policyholders would be able to access. However, policyholders are not limited to a particular dentist or a network of dentists.
Dental HMOs are a type of insurance plan that requires the payment of a yearly premium. Policyholders of dental HMOs in Alabama and Indiana receive dental care from specific service providers and for the number of times the policy allows.
Dental PPOs work like HMOs. However, instead of a particular dentist, policyholders can receive dental care from a network of dentists. Dental services are only covered when the dentist is from the network of the insurance provider.
Although dental discount plans are not exactly traditional insurance plans, persons that belong to uses dental discount plans receive dental care at a discounted rate. Dental discount plans are also somewhat similar to PPOs in that one has to receive dental services from providers within a group before they get the discounts.
Just like other forms of insurance, dental coverage is subjected to certain terms and conditions. Before buying any plan, it is important to read to fine prints and understand the full value of the plan. One of the major features that differentiate the different offers from insurance companies is the waiting period. Dental services are categorized into three groups. There are preventative services that are routine services to maintain optimal oral health. Preventative services are also known as class I services. Basic procedures are class II services, and major procedures are the class III services.
Waiting periods typically do not apply to preventative measures such as cleanings, x-rays, and examinations. Services like implants and crowns, however, are classified as major procedures by a lot of insurance companies.
How dental insurance waiting periods work
The waiting period is the period after purchasing a dental insurance plan when the policyholder cannot access the full benefits of the plan. The length of waiting periods differs, ranging from a few weeks to a year. However, there are dental insurance plans in Alabama and Indiana without waiting periods.
Why waiting periods?
Waiting periods were instituted by insurance companies to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the policy. In other words, insurance companies created waiting periods for different plans to ensure that these plans are not bought when major dental work is needed and dumped afterward.
Thus, for plans with waiting periods, the waiting period applies to certain services and does not apply to others. The categories of benefits that are mostly limited by a waiting period are the major procedures and basic procedures. Procedures that qualify as basic and major are determined by the insurance provider.
The next big thing in dental insurance—no waiting periods
Over time, insurance companies have begun to adapt their services and ease the limitations of waiting periods. Slowly, no waiting periods are becoming a thing, the next big thing in dental insurance.
In Alabama, Indiana, and all over the country, there are several plans with no waiting periods. This no waiting period trend that is gradually developing can be attributed to the fact that a significant proportion of the population, 77%, has dental coverage.
With more persons getting dental coverage, the tendency of buying plans just before major procedures and dropping them afterward may have reduced, encouraging insurance companies to ease waiting period requirements. Instead of waiting periods, insurance companies have begun to offer plans that offer full coverage but with a varying percentage of coverage for the first, second, and third years.
Policyholders of dental insurance plans with no waiting period can access the different categories of services after they buy the plan. You get full coverage immediately after getting a plan with no waiting periods.
Dental insurance plans with no waiting periods in Indiana are especially advantageous because policyholders do not have to wait for weeks or months before getting full coverage. Persons that require class II and III services are usually already under a lot of discomfort and experience a lot of pain. Waiting for the periods that apply to their plans could significantly disrupt work, school, and other major aspects of their life.
Plans without waiting periods eliminate the extra torture that could be associated with waiting before getting basic and major procedures. These plans are thus especially suitable for persons that are most likely to need class II and III services. Leisure or professional players of contact sports are more prone to injuries that could require basic and major dental procedures and should opt for plans with no waiting periods. Parents with children that play contact sports and very active children are better off with dental insurance plans with no waiting periods too.
Dental plans without waiting periods offer extra peace of mind. The no-waiting-period trend for dental insurance plans is a welcome development as it upholds the essence of insurance, risk coverage. Immediate access to healthcare is a major goal of the different types of health insurance, from insurance for basic healthcare services to dental coverage. By offering dental insurance plans without waiting periods, insurance companies significantly improve access to major and basic dental procedures.