When you are shopping for dental insurance, a frequent source of confusion is the annual maximum. This figure means something different with dental insurance as compared to traditional health insurance. You need to be aware of the difference so that you are not surprised when you get your bill.
With most health insurance plans, your annual maximum refers to the money that you pay out of your own pocket. For example, if your policy has an annual maximum of $5000, this is the most that you will have to pay during a year. Any medical costs above that amount will be paid by the insurance company.
Dental insurance, however, works in the opposite way. A plan's annual maximum refers to a limit on how much the insurance company pays. If you need dental care that costs more than your maximum, you either have to pay for it on your own or put it off until the next year.
A standard amount for an annual maximum for many dental insurance policies is $1500. Unfortunately, this limit has not increased significantly over the last few decades, which means that it has not kept up with medical inflation. This amount does not pay for nearly as much care as it did 20 or 30 years ago.
If you can find a policy with a $3500 max coverage limit, this is a much better deal.If you tend to have problems with your teeth and require a lot of treatment during the year, you should choose the policy that has the highest annual maximum that you can find.
However, you need to realize that a higher annual maximum means that you will be paying higher monthly premiums. Since the insurance company will be responsible for paying more of the cost of care, they will charge you more on a monthly basis. You need to take this into account when you are deciding on a plan.
If your teeth are generally healthy and you take good care of them, choosing a plan with a lower maximum and lower premiums may be sensible. However, if you have a history of dental problems, a plan with a $3500 max coverage benefit would be a good choice. Spirit Dental is always here to discuss your dental health needs and review which plan is best for you.