Stand-Alone Dental Insurance

Starting in 2014, state and/or regional insurance exchanges will become operational. Exchanges will allow small businesses and individuals to buy required essential benefits. Benefits will come in different pre assigned levels but exactly how that will work has not been decided yet.

People don't have to use exchanges to buy their coverage, but they are the only place where government subsidies will become available to help people who meet certain income requirements.

We know that stand-alone dental benefits and children's dental coverage will be offered on exchanges. But, there are still some details that are unclear. We still don't know if adult dental coverage will be offered on exchanges, what requirements will apply to dental within the exchanges, or if dental benefits will be offered and priced separately from medical benefits. In today's commercial market, dental and medical benefits are sold as separate policies 97 percent of the time, so it is our hope that the same structure will remain within exchanges to allow consumers to have a transparent shopping experience.

Most dental benefits are purchased separately from medical insurance (stand-alone coverage) and most children already have their dental coverage through a stand-alone family dental plan. Congress recognized the value of stand-alone dental coverage by allowing insurers that specialize in dental benefits to offer kids' coverage on exchanges. That means parents have the choice to purchase their kids' dental benefits separately from their medical benefits. This is important because if parents have to switch their kids' dental plans to one bundled with their medical plans, they might end up with a dental plan that doesn't include their family dentist in the network or has reduced dental benefits.

Your goal should be to find a stand-alone dental insurance plan where you have the option to choose your own dentist and have little or no waiting period to endure when you initially begin participating in the plan. Make sure the dental plan you select covers major services such as crowns, root canals, implants, bridges and dentures. Most importantly make sure your plan has a strong preventive benefit so you have the incentive to visit the dentist often which helps you avoid having to have those major dental services performed.

Spirit Dental and Vision at a Glance

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Spirit Dental

Choose your own dentist
No waiting periods
Guaranteed acceptance
Implants and major services covered
3 cleanings per year
$1200, $2500, $3500 annual maximums
Child orthodontia included in-network