Buying Individual Dental Insurance Online: My Experience
My spouse changed jobs earlier this year, and with that came new insurance. I would have to pay 100% to be included on her dental plan, so I did some shopping around to find my own individual dental insurance.
First I called my dentist to find out what they would charge me for a regular cleaning visit: $115. While $230/year is not unaffordable, I was curious to see how this compared to my other options.
I next considered the option through my spouse's work. It would cost $30/month ($360/year) and give me $1,000 worth of coverage with a $100 deductible. Cleanings would be free. Spending an extra $130 didn't seem worth it to me.
Then I shopped around for individual dental insurance. On eHealthInsurance I found an individual dental insurance plan for $20/month. It was nearly the same as the one I would get through my spouse's employer but with lower coverage. Cleanings would be free. So would X-rays and topical fluoride. But the coverage was only $500/year.
Some people might argue that at this price point, there really isn't a major benefit to getting dental insurance. But for $10/year more than I would spend on cleanings, it seemed worth it to me for several reasons. First, I'm religious about my two-times-a-year cleanings, so I wouldn't be buying something I wouldn't use. Second, if I did need a root canal, cavity filling, or some other form of unexpected treatment, I would have $500 worth of coverage for only $10 more a year. This independent dental insurance was what I ended up buying.
I found the process to be less time-consuming and frustrating than I thought it might be. The site was straightforward to use, and it had awesome comparison charts. Unlike health insurance, dental insurance seems fairly simple (there aren't a lot of preexisting conditions or exceptions to worry about).
The verdict? I will definitely continue with my independent dental insurance coverage until I have a group plan through an employer.
What has been your experience with finding individual dental insurance?
Disclaimer: The eHealthInsurance links contain affiliate codes. I had a great experience buying through them and would recommend that you take a look if you are considering buying dental insurance.