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
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: There is a $50 per person deductible for basic services when using a network provider and no copay for preventive care. 50% percent of basic services are covered after the deductible in the first year, then 65% in year two, and then 80% in the next year and onward. Major services not covered. An annual maximum of $1,000 per person applies.
- Dental Primary Preferred: The policy has a $50 per person deductible for basic services and $50 per person deductible for major services when using a network provider. 100% coverage for preventive care. There is 35% coverage for basic services after the deductible in year one, then 65%, and finally 80% coverage for basic services. There is 15% coverage for major services after the deductible in year one, before increasing to 50%, and then 60%. A $1,000 annual maximum applies.
- Dental Essential: This policy has a $50 per person deductible for basic services when using a network provider. Preventative services are initially covered at 80% before increasing to 90% and then 100%. There is 50% coverage for basic services after the deductible. This later increases to 65% and then 80%. Major services not covered. You benefits will be capped at $1,000 annually.
- Dental Essential Preferred: There is a $50 per person deductible for basic services and $50 per person deductible for major services when using a network provider. Initially, there is 80% coverage for preventive care before increasing to 90% and later 100%. There is 50% coverage for basic services after deductible in the first year before increasing to 65% and then 80%. Major services are covered at 15% after the deductible. This latter increases to 50% and then 60%. A $1,000 annual maximum per person applies.
- Dental Premier Choice: A $50 combined per person deductible for basic and major services with a network provider applies to the policy. $0 copay for preventive care. There is 50% coverage for basic services after the deductible. This increases to 65% and 80% after years one and two respectively. Major services are covered at 10% after the deductible to start before increasing to 40% and then 50%. The policy has a $1,500 annual maximum.
- Dental Premier Elite: The policy has a $50 combined per person deductible for basic and major services with a non-network provider. There is $0 copay for preventive care. Initially, the policy covers basic services at 50% after the deductible, but this increases to 65% and then 80%. There is 15% coverage for major services to start before coverages increases to 50% and then 60%. The annual maximum of this policy is $2,000.
Best for Families on a Budget : 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 plan is prepaid on an annual basis and 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
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 10% 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. Major services not covered some basic services are covered at 50% after the deductible. The deductible is $50 per individual and $150 lifetime. There are no waiting periods and no benefit limits.
- 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: It's a savings program and not regular insurance. Save 20% to 40% on 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: The plan has 100% coverage for preventive services. It has 80% coverage after the deductible (some limits apply) for basic services and 50% coverage after the deductible (some limits apply) for major services. There is no waiting period for preventive care and the waiting period for basic and major services is waived with proof of prior dental insurance.
Best for Global Coverage : Cigna Dental Insurance
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, meaning the company has solid financial strength.
If you often travel, Cigna’s dental network spreads nationwide offering access to dental care while 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 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. For example, 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.
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.