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Having dental insurance can give you peace of mind that you will have coverage if anything goes wrong with you or your family’s dental needs. Dental insurance can also prompt you to take care of your teeth and be certain that you are getting regular checkups. Having good dental health is good for your overall health and well-being. When considering your options for dental insurance in Washington, there are several different options you may consider. Each option has its pluses and minuses, and which plan is right for you and your family will depend on your individual situation.

When considering dental insurance options in Washington, there are three main types of plans to consider:

  • Indemnity Plans
  • Managed Care Plans
  • Discount Dental Plans

Indemnity Plans

Indemnity Dental Plans can also be referred to as fee for service plans, and are often when people consider a traditional dental insurance plan. With this type of plan, you may visit any dentist for the services covered under your dental plan. You do not need referrals, you simply pick and go to your preferred Dentist. Preventive, basic, and major services can be covered under these plans. There are deductibles, coinsurance, and annual maximums that apply to these plans. If you choose an Indemnity plan, you will pay your dentist for their services, then submit a receipt to your dental insurance to be reimbursed for those services. Each plan will cover a certain amount of money for each service. The amount they will cover is determined by their usual, customary, and reasonable service fees of dentists in your area. Each plan will have a different amount that they will cover and it can change from time to time, so be certain you know how much will be covered before you go to the dentist. Since you will be paying your dentist upfront for the services, you are responsible for knowing how much your insurance will cover, You will be responsible for any fee above the amount that your insurance will pay. These plans are great if you want the freedom to see any dentist you prefer and don’t mind spending the money out of pocket until reimbursed by your insurance plan.

Managed care plans

Managed care plans work with dentists within a network. Dentists within these networks agree to provide services at a set fee, in exchange for access to the wide variety of patients within those dental networks, The dentist’s office will usually submit the claims to the insurance for you. There is often less paperwork and lower out of pocket costs associated with services for this type of plan. There may be an associated coinsurance or percentage of a procedure that you will be responsible for, depending on the plan that you choose. These types of plans try to focus on preventive care and trying to prevent dental diseases that can create costly dental problems. You often will get more coverage at a lower cost but are obligated to see dentists within the given network of your insurance plan. Many preventative services are covered in full, with larger procedures requiring extra payment or coinsurance payments. Some plans will cover dentists that are not part of their network, but will usually cover them at a lower rate. That means that you will be paying more of your own money to see out of network dentists. A procedure that may be covered one hundred percent through a network dentist, may only be covered fifty percent if you decide to see a dentist outside your dental insurance network.

Discount Dental Plans

Discount Dental Plans are not the same thing as Dental Insurance. These types of discount plans appeal to those individuals that do not have regular dental insurance or a plan that does not cover certain procedures. With one of these plans, you pay by the month or the year for a card that will provide you with discounted dental work. The work is provided by dentists that take part in these plans. With these plans, you will pay a discounted fee for services provided by the plan dentists. You will pay the dentist, not the plan. You pay the Discount Dental Plan for the discount, and then pay the dentist a discounted rate for their services. These plans do not make reimbursements.