You have health insurance to control your medical expenses and auto insurance protects your vehicle. But do you have the dental insurance you need to protect your teeth and lower your dental costs? Independent health insurance plans generally do not include dental benefits. Without insurance, dental costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, especially if you have a dental emergency or a major oral health problem.
Dental insurance can help you visit your dentist regularly and reduce your healthcare costs. But with so many insurance choices, how do you know you’re choosing the right plan? We’ll take a closer look at how Ohio dental insurance works and how you can get started buying a plan.
Quick Look: The Best Dental Insurance in Ohio
Best Dental Insurance Providers in Ohio
Now that you know how dental insurance works in Ohio, let’s take a look at some of our favorite insurance companies offering dental plan in Buckeye State.
1. Delta Dental
Delta Dental is a nonprofit organization that provides PPO dental insurance coverage to individuals, families, and businesses in Ohio and beyond. Delta Dental offers 2 levels of plans for individuals starting at just $23 per month in most areas of Ohio.
Individuals at Delta Dental have deductibles as low as $25 per year and higher tier plans have no deductible at all. You can quickly sign up for a plan online and get a quote in as little as 60 seconds. Delta Dental also offers exceptionally affordable dental insurance plans for business owners.
Want to get coverage that doesn’t break the bank? Humana offers DHMO and PPO plans in most areas of Ohio at very competitive prices. DHMO plans start at just $14 per month, and you can get PPO coverage for just $17 per month.
Humana’s plans also have low deductibles – individuals only pay $50 for dental expenses per year and families only pay $150. You’ll find plenty of coverage choices and some of the most affordable plans in the state at Humana — the company takes first prize in saving its customers money.
3. Doctors’ Mutual
Comparing dental insurance plans can be tedious. Need coverage fast and don’t want to wait for a representative to contact you before you can compare your options? Make sure you get a quote from the doctors’ mutual insurance company.
Physicians Mutual offers individual dental insurance plans in Ohio starting at just $25 per month – and you can get a quote in as little as 30 seconds. Physicians Mutual offers 3 levels of cover and their website clearly states what is covered and what is not covered under each plan.
All plan tiers include $0 deductibles, giving you one less thing to compare between providers.
Orthodontic coverage can be hard to find, but paying for your child’s orthodontics out of pocket can be even more expensive. Ameritas is one of the few dental insurance providers in Ohio to offer plans that include orthodontic coverage.
You can get a plan with an annual maximum of $1,000 and orthodontic inclusion starting at just $34 per month. You can also increase your annual coverage to $2,000 for less than $45 per month. In addition to orthodontics, most Ameritas dental plans also include 100% coverage for routine preventative services and up to 80% for more expensive treatments.
Orthodontic services for adults and children
5. Live Guardian
Moving to Ohio from out of state? Guardian Direct makes things a little easier for new Ohio transplants. You can use Guardian Direct’s dental practice finder to find dental practices in your area that accept Guardian Direct plans.
Simply enter your postcode and Guardian Direct will present you with a list of dentists near you, along with the plans you accept. Guardian’s plans are also exceptionally affordable, and coverage is available starting at $20 per month in most areas of Ohio.
Young adults and families with children and teenagers
Types of dental coverage
You might see a few different plan options from just one company. There are 3 main types of dental coverage you will see:
- DHMO Plans: Dental Benefit Organizations (DHMOs) are one of the most limited types of dental insurance plans. When you get a DHMO, you must choose a dentist from a list of providers in the network. If you choose a dentist outside your network, you will not be able to use your benefits.
- POP Plans: Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) are less constrained than DHMOs, but you will need to have a higher monthly budget. PPOs cost more than DHMO plans but allow you to use any dental practice you choose. If you’re willing to see a dentist within your PPO network, your insurance may offer you a discount. PPOs are an especially good choice if you have a family dentist you want to continue using.
- Reduction plans: Discount plans are the cheapest plans you will see from any insurance provider. You might see discount plans available starting at $5 per month. However, these plans are not really a type of insurance as they do not pay any amount of your dental care costs. Instead, dentists on the discount plan agree to offer you a percentage discount on all dental services.
What does dental insurance cover?
Dental insurance plans are largely independent of regulation. The insurance companies that offer these plans have almost unlimited freedom to choose which services they wish to cover and which they wish to exclude. Most plans include coverage for 3 types of dental services:
- Preventive care, which includes services recommended by dentists to prevent future dental problems. Cleanings and x-rays are generally considered precautionary care. Many insurance plans cover 100% of preventive care.
- Essential services, which include regular procedures used to correct dental health problems. Cavity fillings and simple tooth extractions are generally considered essential services. Most dental insurance plans cover about 70-80% of essential service costs.
- Main Services are rare, often invasive procedures used to correct very serious oral health problems. Bridges and dentures are 2 examples of procedures that insurance companies consider major expenses. Most insurance plans cover 50% of the cost of major services.
Dental insurance companies can choose which services fall under each category on each plan. This can lead to significant discrepancies between plans. For example, some insurance companies classify root canals as essential services while others classify them as major services. Remember to read which procedures fall under which categories before choosing a plan.
What does dental insurance not cover?
No dental insurance plan will cover all types of oral health problems. The following categories are some of the areas where you might see exclusions on your plan.
- Cosmetic care: Even the best dental insurance plan won’t cover purely cosmetic dental treatments. If you want teeth whitening or cosmetic veneers, for example, you’ll have to be prepared to pay for them out of pocket.
- Adult orthodontics: When shopping for an insurance plan, you might see some plans that offer orthodontic coverage. Most of the time, this coverage is limited to the children included in your plan. You will have to pay for adult orthodontics out of your savings, even if your dentist says orthodontics is medically necessary for you.
- Select care and services: Dental insurance companies routinely deny or limit coverage for expensive treatments and procedures. For example, many dental insurance plans do not cover any percentages of the cost of dental sealants, despite the fact that dentists agree that these treatments are effective in preventing cavities.
Average cost of dental insurance in Ohio
Dental insurance is much more affordable when you compare average costs with health insurance. The average Ohio resident can expect to pay around $30 per month for a relatively inexpensive plan and up to $45 per month for a more expensive plan.
What to Look for in a Dental Plan Provider
So where do you start when you need dental insurance?
First and foremost, you should look at what your dental insurance plan will cost you. Most dental plans include maximum annual benefit limits. Your maximum annual benefit limit is the highest amount your plan will pay for your dental care each year. Once you have reached your maximum, you will be responsible for the rest of your care costs. Let’s say you choose a plan with too low a maximum. You might hit it early in the year, especially if you’re having a costly dental health issue.
You also need to consider your plan’s deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money your insurance company expects you to pay for your care costs before you can start using your benefits. Choose a plan with a low deductible to start using your benefits sooner.
Finally, review your plan’s inclusions and exclusions. You want to choose a plan that covers many common dental health issues. The last thing you want is to pay for a dental insurance plan, only to find that you can’t use your benefits because the procedure you need isn’t covered.
Smile Brighter With Ohio Dental Insurance
Finding dental insurance can take time. But the best way to make sure you’re not paying more than necessary for dental protection is to compare your options. Take the time to explore a few different dental insurance companies that offer coverage in your area and create a spreadsheet that lists costs, deductibles, and maximums.
See what’s available to see how much your family can save.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does dental insurance cover dentures?
Dental insurance can cover dentures, but you need to make sure your policy covers your dental care at a level that’s right for you.
Will dental insurance cover emergencies?
Yes, emergency services are covered by dental insurance, but you should review your policy to find out how much is covered.