When should you buy dental insurance for a child?

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Is dental insurance for children necessary? It depends who you ask. Dental insurance can certainly benefit many families, including children. But, for some, it may not be worth it. Here’s what you need to know about children’s dental insurance, including how and when you can enroll.

When should you take out insurance for a child?

Preventive care is crucial when it comes to taking care of your teeth. That’s why there are many situations where having dental insurance for a child is a good idea. In fact, it’s so important that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognizes dental coverage as an essential health benefit for children. However, according to HealthCare.gov, “While dental coverage for children should be available to you, you don’t have to purchase it.”

If you’re wondering if you should get dental insurance for your child, here are some things to consider.

No. 1: When they are babies

Because babies aren’t born with teeth, it might seem silly to get them to start getting dental insurance so early. But the truth is, it’s a good idea to bring your child before their first birthday. Tooth decay can occur in primary teeth (also called baby teeth) as well as permanent teeth. If your child develops cavities from tooth decay, it can interfere with their ability to chew and speak normally.

Getting dental insurance for your baby before you start taking her to the dentist can also help you anticipate issues that might later be considered pre-existing conditions. Your child’s dentist will monitor the growth of his mouth and jaw to make sure he is developing normally. Getting your child to a dentist can also be beneficial if they need emergency dental care due to a chipped or falling baby tooth.

No. 2: When they start to lose their primary teeth

Typically, children’s permanent teeth begin to appear around their sixth birthday. Regular dental care is even more important at this stage of a child’s life to ensure they have a good foundation for practicing good oral hygiene.

By the time children begin to grow their permanent teeth, chances are they’ve already contracted tooth decay. This can happen easily due to the accumulation of sugary foods and drinks – including juices and milk – that children often consume.

Getting dental insurance for your children just as their permanent teeth start to appear can prevent and treat tooth decay at an early age.

No. 3: During open registration

Open enrollment is the time of year when you can make changes to your health, dental and vision insurance. It usually occurs between November 1 and December 15 of any given year, although some states may have slightly different dates. During open registration, you can have several options to get new insurance plans.

If your employer offers insurance benefits, they will give you information about the plans they have selected for the coming year. Your employer may offer dental plans that are integrated into a health insurance plan, or they may offer stand-alone dental insurance plans. Either way, you’ll need to check the policy to see if you can include children in your employer-sponsored plan. If you want to join one of the employer’s plans, you can do so through them.

Alternatively, you can sign up for insurance plans through your state’s health insurance marketplace. Depending on what’s available in your area, you may have a few different options. You may be able to find a health insurance plan that offers dental coverage as part of the plan or as an add-on to your health insurance policy. You should also be able to find standalone dental insurance plans to sign up for.

#4: When you have a qualifying life event

If you do not purchase insurance during the open enrollment period, you may not be eligible for coverage for the year. However, there are certain circumstances in which you can enroll in a new insurance plan outside of the open enrollment period. If you experience a qualifying life event, you will have a special enrollment period during which you can seek new insurance.

Qualifying life events include loss of health care coverage, which occurs when children are no longer eligible to remain on their parents’ health insurance due to age. If you have employer-sponsored coverage and you lose your job, that is considered a qualifying life event. A change in income or residence may also make you eligible to modify your insurance plan.

Adding a child to your family is also considered a qualifying life event. You can add a child to your policy within a certain time after birth or adoption, regardless of the time of year.

How to add children to your dental insurance

If you already have dental insurance, you should be able to easily add your child. You will need to check with your dental insurance provider to see exactly what steps you need to take to get coverage for your child.

In most cases, you will have to wait until enrollment is open to add a child to your dental insurance policy. The exception to this rule is if you have a qualifying life event that makes you eligible for new or changed insurance coverage. Fortunately, having a baby is considered a qualifying life event, making it easy to get your baby started right away with dental insurance. Most insurance companies allow you to add a baby within 30 days of birth.

When do children fall out of a parent’s dental insurance?

The Affordable Care Act requires dependent children to be able to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26. At 26, they will no longer be able to remain affiliated with their parents’ insurance.

Unfortunately, this does not always extend to dental insurance. Each insurance company can set its own policy regarding how long it will allow children to remain insured with their parents’ insurance plan. Some insurers allow dependents to remain on their parent’s insurance policy until age 26, while others may discontinue dependent dental coverage after age 19. It is important to check with your insurer for their policy.

Is cash a cheaper way to pay for dental care?

It might be tempting to forgo dental insurance to eliminate an added expense. For some people, dental insurance may not be worth the expense. But for others, dental insurance can save a lot of money despite the upfront cost of a policy. It all depends on your dental health, how often you see the dentist, and your dentist’s practice.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to predict the amount of dental care a person may need in any given year. Children may not have cavities for years, then suddenly start having problems with tooth decay. Or your child could fall on the playground and break a tooth, which could require an expensive emergency dental procedure. In these cases, dental insurance would likely help you save money on dental costs.

Compare dental insurance

Whether you are looking for dental insurance for children or a plan for the whole family, there are factors to consider. Benzinga’s reviews of the best dental insurance providers can help you navigate your options to select the one that best suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should children go to the dentist?

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How often should children go to the dentist?

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Ashley Hart

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Children, like adults, should visit the dentist every six months for a regular preventive examination and cleaning. They should also go to the dentist if they have a toothache or other symptoms that may be related to dental disease. If a child’s dentist recommends fillings for cavities or other treatments, children may need additional dental appointments.

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Benzinga

What if I don’t have child dental insurance?

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What if I don’t have child dental insurance?

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Ashley Hart

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There is no penalty if you do not have dental insurance for your child. If your child doesn’t have dental insurance, you still need to take him to the dentist regularly for preventative and restorative care. The difference is that you will have to pay for your child’s dental care out of pocket.

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Benzinga

To determine the best dental insurance providers, we scoured every carrier in the United States. We have winnowed the list by only including companies that have a large coverage area and a wide range of products. To further break down the list of the truly best dental insurance providers, we’ve given weight to carriers that offer discounts, are available in all states, and have multiple payment plan options.

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