Best Dental Insurance Providers

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You cannot put a price on a beautiful smile. But, if the choice is right for you, you may want to look into finding a comprehensive dental insurance plan at a reasonable rate. If so, you can find a plan individually, or your employer may pay for all or part of its employees' dental coverage as part of its benefits package. For either option, it is important to consider your specific needs. Here are some of the best options for dental insurance on the market.

The 5 Best Dental Insurance Providers of 2021

Best for Family Plans : UnitedHealthOne Dental Insurance

United Healthcare

 United Healthcare

Dental coverage through UnitedHealthOne is available in both individual and employer plans.

Golden Rule Insurance Company, which underwrites many of UnitedHealthOne's individual insurance products, is rated "A (Excellent)" from AM Best, and its rating indicates the financial strength and stability of UnitedHealthOne's products.

The six dental plans listed below are available with the noted benefits:

  • Dental Primary: $50 per person deductible for basic services when using a network provider. No copay for preventive care. Fifty percent for basic services after a deductible. Major services not covered. $1,000 annual maximum per person for coverage amount.
  • Dental Primary Preferred: $50 per person deductible for basic services and $50 per person deductible for major services when using a network provider. $25 copay for preventive care. Thirty-five percent for basic services after deductible. 15 percent for major services after deductible. $1,000 annual maximum per person for coverage amount.
  • Dental Essential: $50 per person deductible for basic services when using a network provider. 80 percent for preventative services. 50 percent for basic services after deductible. Major services not covered. $1,000 annual maximum per person for coverage amount.
  • Dental Essential Preferred: $50 per person deductible for basic services and $50 per person deductible for major services when using a network provider. 80 percent for preventive care. 50 percent for basic services after deductible. 15 percent for major services after deductible. $1,000 annual maximum per person for coverage amount.
  • Dental Premier Choice: $50 combined per person deductible for basic and major services with a network provider. $0 copay for preventive care. 50 percent for basic services after deductible. 10 percent for major services after deductible. $1,500 annual maximum.
  • Dental Premier Elite: $50 combined per person deductible for basic and major services with a non-network provider. $0 copay for preventive care. 50 percent for basic services after deductible. 15 percent for major services after deductible. $2,000 annual maximum.

Best for Families on a Budget : Delta Dental Insurance

Delta Dental Insurance

 Delta Dental Insurance

Delta Dental is the largest provider of dental benefits in the United States and has a network of over 155,000 practicing dentists nationwide.

Delta Dental has an "A (Excellent)" rating from A.M. Best, which affirmed the financial strength rating and the issuer credit ratings for the company.

Delta Dental offers individual and group plans as well as plans through the Health Care Exchange (Marketplace). Delta Dental offers plans designed to help families on a budget.

The following is an overview of two Delta Dental insurance plans:

  • DeltaCare USA: This is a prepaid plan that has, among other benefits, no deductible or annual dollar maximums; no copayments or low copayments for most diagnostic and preventive services; coverage for more than 300 procedures, including additional cleanings, bleaching, and tooth whitening; and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions or missing teeth. As an enrollee, you would need to choose a primary care dentist from the preferred provider network.
  • Delta Dental PPO: This is the company's preferred-provider option program. Enrollees have access to a network of dentists who accept reduced fees for covered services. Covered services are paid based on a percentage of the dentist's fee. For instance, if filings are covered at 80%, enrollees pay the remaining 20% of the cost. Enrollees may be responsible for a deductible, as well as charges for non-covered services and amounts over the annual maximum.

Best for Discounts : Humana Dental Insurance

Humana

 Humana

As one of the largest dental insurers in the United States, Humana offers dental insurance plans for individuals and groups. According to the company's website, enrollees may save 20% to 60% depending on their plan, when they get dental services from a dentist in a dental network.

The dental plans listed below are available with the noted benefits:

  • Dental Loyalty Plus: Ability to choose any network or non-network dentist. Full coverage of preventive services. 40% coverage in first year, 55% in second year, and 70% in third year and beyond for basic services. 20% coverage in first year, 30% in second year, and 50% in third year and beyond for major services. One-time deductible. No waiting period. $1,000 annual benefit maximum in first year, $1,250 in second year, and $1,500 in third year and beyond.
  • Dental Value: Full coverage of preventive services. Set fee schedule for basic and major services. Lifetime deductible of $50 for an individual and $150 for a family. No waiting period. No maximum benefit limit.
  • Dental Preventive Plus: Full coverage with in-network providers for preventive services. 50% coverage with in-network providers (after deductible) for basic services. No copays. Discounted fees with in-network provider for major services. Low annual deductible. No waiting period.
  • Dental Savings Plus: 20% to 40% coverage for preventive services. Discounted fees with in-network provider for basic and major services. No copays. No deductibles. No waiting period. No limit on the number of services that can be used each year. Discounts for orthodontics up to 20%. Discounts for prescriptions averaging 37%.
  • Complete Dental: 100% coverage after deductible (some limits apply) for preventive services. 80% coverage after deductible (some limits apply) for basic services. 50% coverage after deductible (some limits apply) for major services. No waiting period for preventive care and other waiting period for basic and major services waived with proof of prior dental insurance.

Best for Global Coverage : Cigna Dental Insurance

Cigna

 Cigna

Cigna offers three different dental plan options through its network of more than 93,000 dentists.

Cigna has an "A (Excellent)" rating from A.M. Best, which affirmed the financial strength rating and the issuer credit ratings for the company.

If you often travel abroad, Cigna’s coverage is global, so you will have to go without dental care while you are away from home.

The following are Cigna Dental's individual insurance plans:

  • Cigna Dental 1500: $0 for in-network preventive services. Up to $1,500 covered per year (after deductible and coinsurance) for restorative services. $50 deductible for individuals and $150 deductible for families. Up to $1,000 covered for orthodontia.
  • Cigna Dental 1000: $0 for in-network preventive services. Up to $1,000 covered per year (after deductible and coinsurance) for restorative services. $50 deductible for individuals and $150 deductible for families. No coverage for orthodontia.
  • Cigna Dental Preventive: $0 for in-network preventive services. No coverage for restorative services. No deductibles for individuals or for families. No coverage for orthodontia.

Best for Rewards Programs : Ameritas Dental Insurance

Ameritas
Courtesy of Ameritas

Ameritas is well known in the insurance industry as a top provider of dental insurance.

The company has an “A (Excellent)" rating with A.M. Best and an “A+ (Strong)” rating with Standard & Poor's.

Ameritas also offers a "Dental Rewards" program, whereby enrollees can increase their annual maximum benefit to help pay for more expensive procedures in the future by visiting a dental provider each year and submitting a claim. The enrollee must stay or at below the dental plan's annual benefit threshold of $500 for total claims paid during the year. Over time, the enrollee can earn up to the maximum reward accumulation of $2,000 and can earn a $100 dental network bonus for each year he or she visits an Ameritas network provider for dental care.

Here are some features that come standard with all Ameritas dental plans:

  • Preventive services are 100% covered with new network providers. Network providers charge 25% to 50% less than their regular rates.
  • Enrollees can visit any dentists who are out of network.
  • All plans include the "Dental Rewards" program.
  • Enrollees can save on prescriptions at over 60,000 participating network pharmacies.

FAQs

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

Dental insurance typically covers teeth cleanings, preventative care, crowns, and fillings. Some dental insurance also covers a portion of orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. Dental insurance typically does not cover cosmetic dental procedures or teeth whitening. 

How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?

If your employer offers dental insurance coverage as part of their benefits package, it’s generally cheaper than purchasing it on your own. Like health insurance, you pay a monthly premium and need to meet a deductible before the insurance provider pays for your services. 

Deductibles may be as low as $50, but the amount of services covered per year may have a cap, such as $1,000 or $1,500. Also, you may be required to stay within a network or risk paying more for out-of-network providers.

Is Dental Insurance Worth the Cost?

Dental insurance usually covers only a portion of the procedures and preventative care you require. For annual checkups and cleanings and nothing more, you may be better off paying out of pocket. However, as with health insurance, your savings can be substantial if you need an unexpected procedure such as a root canal. 

How We Chose the Best Dental Insurance Providers

We chose these dental insurance providers based on the types of plans they offer and their financial strength ratings, costs, benefits, and discounts offered.

Article Sources

  1. AM Best. "Best's Rating Notification. Golden Rule Insurance Company." Accessed December 9, 2020.

  2. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Delta Dental of California and Its Affiliates." Accessed December 9, 2020.

  3. Cigna. "Financial Strength and Credit Ratings." Accessed December 7, 2020.

  4. Independent Health Agents. "Ameritas Dental Insurance Policy Review." Accessed December 7, 2020.

  5. Ameritas. "Ameritas Financial Strength Highlights." Accessed December 7, 2020.