Dental plan coverage for individuals is not commonly offered. However, there are a few companies that offer a form of dental benefits for individuals. Most of these plans are “referral plans” or “buyers’ clubs.” Under these types of plans, an individual pays a monthly fee to a third party in return for access to a list of dentists who have agreed to a reduced fee schedule. Payment for treatment is made from the patient directly to the dentist. The third-party acts only in the capacity of matching the individual to the dentist. The dentist receives no payment from the third party other than in the form of referral of patients.
What you should look for when choosing a plan:
- Does the dental plan give you the freedom to choose your own dentist, or you have to choose from a list provided by the insurance company?
- Who controls treatment decisions, your dentist/you, or the dental plan?
- Does the dental plan cover diagnostic, preventative, and emergency services?
- What routine care is covered by the dental plan?
- What share of the cost is yours?
- What is major dental care covered by the insurance plan?
- Does the dental plan allow references to specialists?
- What are there limits on your benefits?