Need to take your child to the dentist for a toothache that won’t stop? You may not have dental insurance through your employer, and it may be more affordable to purchase dental insurance for children.
It’s important to find a plan that works best for you and your family. This guide shows you the types of coverage available and the cost of children’s dental insurance. Here are Benzinga’s recommendations for the best dental insurance companies for your children.
Quick Overview: Best Children’s Dental Insurance
The best dental insurance for children
Many dental insurance providers do not offer plans specifically designed for children. However, some individual plans offer your child benefits as a dependent. Family dental insurance plans are also an option to cover you and your child.
Humana’s dental plans increase your coverage over time. The limit of coverage and the percentage paid by the plan increases each year up to a certain limit.
A Humana plan could be a great option for enrolling your kids when they’re young. As they get older and need more dental services, your insurance plan will have higher limits.
2. Dental Guardian
Guardian dental plans help you protect your child’s teeth with affordable plan options. Guardian also has one of the largest networks of dentists across the country. Access to an in-network dentist could save you a lot of money, depending on your provider.
You will likely save on the cost of visiting an in-network provider with as many dentists available.
3. Delta Dental
Delta Dental has plans to meet almost any insurance need – it’s one of the largest dental insurance providers in the country. Delta Dental is one of the few providers to offer child-only dental plans.
You will need to check with Delta to determine if a children’s plan is available in your state. You could potentially save hundreds of dollars on the cost of a dental plan in states where there is child-only coverage. Child-only plans generally cost less than family plans or individual dental plans.
MetLife family plans are more affordable than other options. The real savings, however, come from a low family deductible. The deductible for a family dental plan from MetLife is only $150 per year.
This means that you will have to pay up to $150 for dental services for each of your family members. Once the deductible is reached, your outgoings will be much lower.
UnitedHealthcare also offers a range of dental plans and is best known for its health insurance. One option for dental coverage through UnitedHealthcare is to choose a children’s health insurance plan with dental coverage.
Children’s health plans must offer dental coverage, so this might be a good way to get a children’s only dental plan.
Dental insurance for children: an overview
Just like adults, children should follow a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and taking care of their teeth and gums. Sometimes even regular brushing isn’t enough to keep teeth clean and free of food debris.
Leftover food particles can lead to the growth of bacteria, which increases the risk of tooth decay or cavities in your child. Caries are damaged areas on the surface of the tooth. If these damaged areas are left untreated, cavities can form in holes in the tooth. About 20% of children ages 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dental insurance plans help cover the cost of expensive dental treatments. Some dental insurance companies offer dental plans specifically for children. Many plans offer regular cleaning services and dental checkups at no additional cost.
The Affordable Care Act made children’s dental services essential coverage for children under 18. This means that any health insurance plan that covers children must also provide dental benefits. Dental coverage for children can be part of the health insurance plan or can also be a stand-alone plan.
Types of coverage offered
Dental coverage for children varies widely from plan to plan. Your state and insurer also play an important role in coverage options.
Most children’s dental plans include 100% coverage for:
- Regular checks once or twice a year
- A limited number of teeth cleaning services per year
- Preventive care to help reduce the risk of tooth decay in your child
Plans that offer 100% coverage for these services mean you won’t pay out of pocket for the covered service. For example, your child’s dental plan may state that they are covered for up to 2 dental cleanings per year. Your child can have their teeth cleaned at the dentist twice a year at no cost to you.
Other coverages in children’s dental insurance plans often include:
- Fluoride treatments to help delay the development of tooth decay
- Dental fillings to treat cavities that form
- Orthodontics, such as braces, to help straighten your child’s teeth
There are many options when looking for a children’s dental plan. Some companies do not offer specific plans for children, but do provide coverage for pediatric dentistry as part of a family dental plan. It is important that you read your policy carefully to see what children’s dental care is covered.
Average cost of dental insurance for children
Cost is probably an important factor for you when purchasing dental insurance for your children. The average cost of dental insurance for an adult is $350 per year. Children’s dental plans are generally less expensive on average.
You can also get dental coverage for yourself and your children through a family dental plan. A family plan can cost between $850 and $1,000 per year for a family of 4. Like individual plans, the cost will vary greatly depending on the amount of coverage you choose.
You will need to get quotes from several companies to find the most affordable dental insurance for your child. It is important to remember that only some insurance companies offer dental plans specifically for children. It is much more common for providers to cover children’s dental care as part of a family plan.
How to get covered quickly
Most dental insurance plans require you to undergo a waiting period before you can start using the service and before you are eligible for full insurance benefits.
Different plans offer different waiting periods. For example, you may be able to purchase dental insurance for your child without a waiting period. This means you can go to the dentist immediately once the policy is in place.
On the other hand, a waiting period of up to 6 months is common. In this case, you must wait 6 months from the subscription of the contract for your child. You can take your child to the dentist and receive insurance benefits after the 6-month waiting period has elapsed.
A more expensive plan has a shorter waiting period than a cheaper plan, but some dental insurance companies waive the waiting period for preventive services and teeth cleaning.
More expensive plan compared to reimbursable dental expenses
Consider a more expensive plan with no waiting period if your child needs dental care quickly. Review the services your child needs and the cost of treatment. Compare reimbursable treatment costs with potential dental insurance plans.
Treatments that cost more than the annual premium of an insurance plan for your child can make a more expensive plan worthwhile. For example, your child may need a procedure that costs $500. You find a children’s dental plan for $350 per year, with no waiting period, that would cover up to $450 of the service. Your outlay would be $350 for the plan and $50 for the service, or $400. This is less than the total cost of the treatment.
What to look for in a dental insurance company
Dental insurance for your children requires you to thoroughly research plan options from a number of providers. There are several factors you need to carefully consider when looking at providers. Ask yourself these questions to find the right insurance company for your child:
- What is the monthly or annual coverage premium?
- How much of each treatment should I cover from my pocket?
- Are there any annual limits on benefits, such as up to $1,000 of services per year?
- Is this plan available in my state or region?
- Is the insurance company financially stable enough to pay any claims I may have?
- Does the company offer specific dental plans for children?
- Is there a plan that covers any treatments my child may need?
It can be easy to just look at the monthly or annual cost of a plan, but you also need to consider other costs associated with the plan. Many dental insurance plans have a deductible. A deductible is an amount you must pay out of pocket before insurance benefits begin.
For example, a dental plan may have a deductible of $50 per person. You would be responsible for the first $50 of any treatment your child needs.
In addition to the cost of the plan, you’ll want to feel confident with the company issuing the plan. Be sure to research multiple vendors and consider:
- How long the company has been in business
- The company’s mission and values
- Third Party Reviews from Real Customers
- Customer service
- Accessibility of online accounts, smartphone applications and customer lines 24/7
Find dental insurance for your child
Protecting your child’s teeth with a dental insurance plan is a great option to reduce the cost of dental services. Get the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget – search for quotes from the best dental insurance providers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does dental insurance work?
When you use dental insurance, you submit your information to the provider, they may charge a co-pay and you will be charged for anything your insurance does not cover.
Is dental coverage part of health insurance?
Sometimes health insurance bundles policies with dental insurance. However, most dental insurance is sold as a separate policy.
What types of dental insurance are available?
Dental insurance plans range from PPOs to HMOs and dental discount plans. Review the coverage available during your open enrollment period.