Dental Insurance Plan in Surprise Arizona

Dental Insurance: What’s Covered, What’s Not

If you have dental benefits, do you know what’s in the fine print and what type of plan is best for you? If not, keep reading!

The National Association of Dental Plans says that around 77% of Americans have dental benefits. Most people have private coverage, usually from an employer or group program. Large employers are more likely to offer dental benefits than small employers and high-wage workers are more likely to receive them than low-wage workers. It’s important to try to get these offers and take advantage of them in order to keep the best care for you and your family. Looking into jobs that help provide dental insurance is a great way to take care of you and the people that you love. Or if you are unsure, just ask your employer if they offer dental insurance! Another important note to make is that Medicare doesn’t cover dental care, and most state Medicaid programs cover dental care only for children.

To make the most of your benefits, you need to know these things: asking questions and continuing to stay up to date, and to continue learning what is best for not only you but your family as well.

Dental Insurance Plans Surprise AZ

Insurance or Benefits?

When shopping for insurance, you may see the term dental benefits, which is different from insurance.

An insurance plan is meant to absorb risk — the risk that you’ll need to have a tooth pulled, for instance, or to get a root canal — and covers costs accordingly. This makes sure that if anything sudden were to happen, you’re covered! This is helpful when life can sometimes happen at crazy times, it’s always nice knowing there is a plan B!

A benefits plan covers some things in full, but other things only partially, and others not at all. It’s meant to be helpful, but it’s not a catch-all.

When you shop for coverage, make sure you understand what the plan covers and what is most important for you and your family.

Dental Plan Categories

Although the features of plans may differ, the most common designs can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Direct reimbursement programs pay patients a predetermined percentage of the total amount they spend on dental care, regardless of treatment category. This method typically does not exclude coverage based on the type of treatment needed, allows patients to go to the dentist of their choice, and encourages them to work with the dentist toward healthy and economically sound solutions.
  • “Usual, customary, and reasonable” (UCR) programs usually allow patients to go to the dentist of their choice. These plans pay a set percentage of the dentist’s fee or the plan administrator’s “reasonable” or “customary” fee limit, whichever is less. These limits are the result of a contract between the plan purchaser and the third-party payer. Although these limits are called “customary,” they may or may not accurately reflect the fees that area dentists charge. There is wide fluctuation and a lack of government regulation on how a plan determines the “customary” fee level.
  • The table or schedule of allowance programs determines a list of covered services with an assigned dollar amount. That amount represents just how much the plan will pay for those services that are covered, regardless of the fee charged by the dentist. The difference between the allowed charge and the dentist’s fee is billed to the patient.
  • Capitation programs pay contracted dentists a fixed amount (usually on a monthly basis) per enrolled family or patient. In return, the dentists agree to provide specific types of treatment to the patients at no charge. (For some treatments, there may be a patient co-payment.) The capitation premium that is paid may differ greatly from the amount the plan provides for the patient’s actual dental care.

Types of Plans

Dental plans are similar in some ways to health insurance plans in some respects, but different in other ways. You’ll generally have the following options:

Preferred provider organization (PPO): As with a health insurance PPO, these plans come with a list of dentists that accept the plan. You have the option of going out of network, but your out-of-pocket costs will be higher.

Dental health maintenance organization (DHMO): Like a health insurance HMO, these plans provide a network of dentists that accept the plan for a set co-pay or no fee at all. However, you may not be able to see an out-of-network dentist.

Discount or referral dental plan: This is a plan in which you get a discount on dental services from a select group of dentists. Unlike health insurance, the discount or referral plan doesn’t pay anything for your care. Rather, the dentists who participate agree to give you a discount for the care you receive.

Understanding Dental Insurance Plans

Predetermination of costs

Some dental insurance plans encourage you or your dentist to submit a treatment proposal to the plan administrator before starting. The administrator may determine your eligibility, the eligibility period, services covered, your co-payment, and the maximum limitation. Some plans require predetermination for treatment over a specified dollar amount. This is also known as preauthorization, precertification, pretreatment review, or prior authorization.

Annual benefits limitations

To help contain costs, your dental insurance plan may limit benefits by the number of procedures or dollar amount in a given year. In most cases, especially if you’ve been getting regular preventive care, these limitations allow for adequate coverage. By knowing what and how much the plan allows, you and your dentist can plan treatment that will minimize out-of-pocket expenses while maximizing the compensation offered by your benefits plan.

Peer review for dispute resolution

Many dental insurance plans have a peer review mechanism through which disputes between third parties, patients, and dentists can be resolved, eliminating many costly court cases. Peer review aims to ensure fairness, individual case consideration, and a thorough examination of records, treatment procedures, and results. Most disputes can be resolved satisfactorily for all parties.

What They Cover

Generally, dental policies cover some portion of the cost of preventive care, fillings, crowns, root canals, and oral surgery, such as tooth extractions. They might also cover orthodontics, periodontics (the structures that support and surround the tooth), and prosthodontics, such as dentures and bridges. You’re usually covered for two preventive visits per year. Further reading: Does insurance cover teeth straightening?

If you get an individual policy, periodontics and prosthodontics may not be available in the first year of coverage. And orthodontics often requires a rider, in which you pay an additional fee, for any kind of policy.
Most plans follow the 100-80-50 coverage structure. That means they cover preventive care at 100%, basic procedures at 80%, and major procedures at 50%or a larger co-payment. But a dental plan may elect not to cover some procedures, such as sealants, at all.

Limitations of Dental Insurance Plans

Every plan has a cap on what it will pay during a plan year, and for many that cap is quite low. This is the annual maximum. You pay all expenses that go beyond that amount. About half of dental PPOs offer annual maximums of less than $1,500. If that’s your plan, you’d be responsible for all expenses above $1,500. If you need a crown, a root canal, or oral surgery, you can reach the maximum quickly.
There’s generally a separate lifetime maximum for orthodontics costs.
Some plans may totally exclude certain services or treatments to lower costs. Know specifically what services the plan covers and excludes.
But there are certain limitations and exclusions in most dental insurance plans that are designed to keep dentistry’s costs from going up without penalizing the patient. All plans exclude experimental procedures and services not performed by or under the supervision of a dentist, but there may be some less obvious exclusions. Sometimes, dental coverage and medical health insurance may overlap. Read and understand the conditions of your dental insurance plan. Exclusions in your dental plan may be covered by your medical insurance.


Experts generally encourage adults to see their dentists twice a year. Dental benefits policies support this, although the wording varies. It may be that your policy will pay for a preventive visit every 6 months (but no closer together), or twice per calendar year, or twice in a 12-month period. Get to know your policy so you understand how it works. That will help you schedule your appointments.
There are usually time limits on other services as well, such as X-rays, fillings on the same tooth, crowns and bridges on the same tooth, or fluoride treatments for children. For instance, your policy may pay for a full series of X-rays only once every 3 years.

Preexisting Conditions

You may not be able to find a dental plan that covers conditions that exist before you enrolled. If that’s the case, you will have to pay any ongoing treatment costs out of pocket.

What to Do Before a Procedure

Read your dental policy closely to see whether your procedure is covered. Call your insurance company if you have questions.
If you need a major procedure, you can ask your dentist to submit a pre-treatment estimate. This will help you know what you’ll likely owe after any coinsurance, deductible, and policy maximum.
It’s also smart to understand how your dental plan handles emergencies. Many have provisions for urgent care or after-hours care, but you may owe a deductible, a copay, or a larger percentage of costs.

What to Consider

If your employer offers dental coverage, that’s an easy choice. It tends to be cheaper than getting a policy on your own. If you’re shopping for your own plan and you already have a dentist, your dentist may be able to recommend a plan based on your dental history.
As you compare plans, try to find out the following things:
  • Whether your dentist and any specialists you may need are in-network
  • Total costs for the plan each year, including premiums, co-pays, and deductibles
  • Annual maximum
  • Out-of-pocket limit, if any
  • Limitations on pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage for braces, if needed or anticipated
  • Emergency treatment coverage, including treatment if you’re away from home
  • Whether you can choose your own dentist
  • Who controls treatment decisions: you and your dentist, or the dental plan
  • Whether the plan covers diagnostic, preventive, and emergency services, and how much
  • What routine treatment is covered
  • What major dental care is covered
  • Whether you can see the dentist when you need to and schedule appointment times convenient for you
  • Who is eligible for coverage under the plan, and when coverage goes into effect


Dental Insurance For Individuals: You’re in control of your health and dental coverage.

There are several different types of Arizona dental insurance for individuals. The most popular individual dental PPO plan covers 100% of covered dental services. This plan covers two-yearly dental exams and cleanings, along with some dental x-rays. It also has a huge network of licensed Arizona dentists. You can choose between three plan designs, each with its own unique benefits. Some individual dental PPO plans offer comprehensive benefits and a high level of service. To learn more about dental insurance for individuals, call our dental insurance specialists for a quote.

Arizona Dental PPO Insurance

PPO dental insurance plans are the most common type of dental coverage. With PPO networks of dentists, a patient can visit any dentist they like, but the dentist will be paid at a discounted rate. These rates are negotiated in private, which means patients don’t know what they’re going to pay ahead of time.
If you live in Arizona, it’s possible to find a plan that fits your budget. Dental insurance can help you pay for unexpected root canals or major work. Arizona dental PPO insurance plans are available from several companies. Some offer free preventive dental care; others require co-payments, and some are even free. The best thing about these plans is that they cover most services, even if they aren’t listed as “preventive care.”

Dental Insurance for Arizona Seniors

If you are a senior, you may need dental insurance. As for dental plans for Medicare, this insurance does not cover dental care. The dental insurance and dental discount memberships are both affordable ways to help you manage your costs. Before you buy one, be sure to understand the level of coverage and any exclusions. Also, make sure to ask the dentist you are considering if they participate in the dental insurance plan. If they do not participate, you may have to pay a higher premium.

There are many different dental insurance plans for Arizona seniors. You can purchase dental insurance through your employer’s health insurance plan or purchase a stand-alone plan. Make sure to compare plans and check whether your preferred dentist is part of the carrier’s network before buying. When you have decided which plan is best for you, fill out an application and get a quote. In some cases, your employer may offer dental insurance for you, but this type of policy is not available in every state.

When Does Dental Insurance End?

When does AZ dental insurance for individuals end, and what are the next steps? Dental insurance is an excellent benefit for many people, but the problem comes when you don’t take advantage of it. Most plans have a yearly benefit cap, so your dental coverage may not cover the full cost of any procedures. Some plans last for 12 months, while others for eight. You should always check with your insurance provider to find out when yours will end. If your policy includes a waiting period, you should read it carefully. This is the period during which the plan covers your dental care. Many plans have an annual benefit cap that applies only to routine treatments, and others have a lifetime maximum.

It’s never too late to start protecting your smile!

Are you spending hours and hours searching for the best dental insurance in Arizona? We want to help. Finding the best dental care possible can be a difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be with our help. Get started by contacting us today. We will help you find a plan that fits your needs and budget.

We know you’re probably busy, and looking for a dentist might not be at the top of your list. There are many things that affect dental health, such as smoking, poor oral hygiene, or even maintaining a poor diet. And while we can’t change these factors on our own, we will always be here to help you find the right protection and care that you need with an Arizona Dental Insurance plan.

Arizona dental insurance can allow you to invest in your health and dental coverage. When you invest in this coverage, you will have access to an experienced team of professionals who can help with all of your dental needs. You will have coverage for dental cleanings and exams, dental fillings, root canal treatments, dentures, and more. Plus, our agents are experienced professionals who specialize in finding the best dental insurance plan for your individual needs and budget. Contact us at (623) 742-3878 for more information about dental coverage today.

Dental Insurance FAQ

How does dental insurance work? What do I pay for?
Similar to health insurance plans, with a dental plan…
You pay a monthly amount—this is your premium.
You pay for a certain amount out-of-pocket for services covered by your plan before your insurance starts paying—this is your deductible.
After you meet your deductible, you are responsible for a percentage of covered expenses—this is your coinsurance. Most Golden Rule Insurance Company dental plans feature either a 20% or 30% coinsurance.
Under some dental plans, you might pay a fixed cost for certain services, like X-rays—this is called a copay.
Can I buy dental insurance without having health insurance?
Yes. It is standalone coverage. You do not need a major medical plan to purchase a dental plan.
What do most dental insurance plans cover?
Dental plans include coverage for preventive care like routine exams, cleanings, and X-rays. Some plans require a copay for preventive services while others cover those services 100% with no copay. It depends on the plan you choose, but preventive services are usually covered. Many dental plans also include coverage for basic services like fillings and extractions, and major services like root canals, crowns and more.
Is there a waiting period for dental insurance once I'm covered?
It depends. There is no waiting period on preventive services once you become covered, meaning as soon as you purchase the dental insurance you would be able to use the preventive care benefits. While some plans have no waiting periods, on other plans basic and major services may have waiting periods ranging from 4 to 12 months.
What is the difference between in-network and out-of-network care?
Cost. In-network dentists agree to accept a lower negotiated rate on services, meaning you pay less before your insurance carrier even gets involved. Non-network dentists can bill a patient for any remaining amount up to the billed charge.
Finally, when you stay in-network, you usually do not have to submit claims yourself. The dental office will handle the paperwork, saving you the cost of your time.
It’s a good idea to check on the number of dentists near you who are in-network before you buy a dental plan. If you already have a dentist, be sure to confirm if he or she is in-network. By choosing an in-network provider, you are making dental care more affordable for yourself.
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