Tuesday, January 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Dental Health Month; How to shop for dental insurance

canToothpasteCalendarDental

By
February 07, 2014 |

(BPT) – Dental health is essential to overall health, affecting everything from our hearts to our mental well-being. Yet, despite ample research that underscores the importance of taking care of our teeth, millions of Americans never go to the dentist. A lack of dental insurance is one of the top reasons Americans don’t keep up with their dental care.

“In 2008, the last year for which statistics are available, the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that 45 million Americans were without dental insurance,” says Stacia Almquist, senior vice president of dental for Assurant Employee Benefits. “Five years and a recession later, it’s reasonable to assume that number has stayed the same or grown. While at the same time dental insurance is as important – and affordable – as ever.”

Most people covered by dental insurance today receive the benefit as part of an employer-sponsored benefits package. And, as awareness of the importance of dental health grows, more people are urging their employers to offer the benefit or are looking at buying individual dental coverage.

Not all dental plans are created equal, so it is important to understand what you are purchasing. “Changes in health care law and increased opportunity for people to purchase their own health coverage have made many consumers more aware of the need for informed decisions when choosing health insurance,” Almquist says. “Choosing a dental plan should also be an informed decision.”

If you’re in the market for stand-alone dental coverage (and, if you don’t already have dental insurance, you should consider it) or get to pick a plan through your employer, keep these points in mind when comparison shopping:

• Understand the alphabet soup of dental plans – Two common insurance acronyms include PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and DHMO (Dental Health Maintenance Organization). Most PPO plans have a large dental network of providers and provide 100 percent benefit coverage for preventive care, cleanings, check-ups, protective sealants and X-rays, while major services such as crowns and bridges are usually covered at 50 percent. A DHMO usually has a smaller network of dentists than a PPO network, with the trade-off being that members typically pay less out of pocket for services.

Dental discount plans are also available. Discount plans are not insurance, but are similar to wholesale store plans where you pay a discounted fee for products or services.

• Look for options and extras – Look for a dental plan with a network that offers the options that you need. Your relationship with a dentist is as valuable and personal as one with your primary care physician. Make sure the dental network you choose includes a dentist you are comfortable seeing or one that has dental recruiters who are willing to try to recruit your dentist. Ultimately, more dentists in the network means more options for you and your family.

Also look for ancillary services such as dental hotlines similar to Ask-A-Nurse lines where you can get 24/7 answers when dental emergencies arise.

• Maximize your dental dollars – Most dental plans limit the amount they will pay in a given year. It’s important to know what that cap is because you will need to pay full dental costs after you reach that limit in a year. Some dental PPOs let you share unused dental dollars with family members. Programs such as Family Share Max replace traditional individual maximums and allow families to pull from one shared dental coverage pool in a way that most effectively meets their specific needs and budgets.

Ultimately, taking care of your teeth today keeps costs down for you and your family in the future.

“Poor dental health has been linked to a range of other health issues, from cardiovascular disease and premature birth to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and eating disorders,” says Almquist. “Fortunately, it’s possible to help protect your dental health with the right insurance coverage.”

Still confused? Don’t hesitate to seek the advice of an insurance broker who offers a variety of dental insurance products.

To learn more about dental insurance and how to select a provider, visit www.assurantemployeebenefits.com.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Interfaith event focuses on justice

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Crash leads to DUI, hit-run arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Blizzard howls its way into Boston

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    New-home sales jump 11.6% in December

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Senate Dems block GOP effort to wind down pipeline debate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Learn nature photography from an expert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A winemaker’s downfall

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7

    Gerber nominations open now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Taking turns as the halfway house

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Wife’s attitude costs her friends

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    A family was torn apart, but we survived

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Damage done to democracy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    It’s foggy? Turn on your headlights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Locals will join march for climate change

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Anatomy of a hoops collapse: Can Aggie men handle the pressure?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD swims past Santa Barbara

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Arts

    Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

    By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Death notice: Lorraine Bernice DeGraff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7