Do You Really Need Dental Insurance?

There’s no doubt that dental insurance can be expensive. Some plans ask you to pay $40 each month, per family member, and those costs can quickly add up and eat away at your budget.

Similarly, dental emergencies can also be expensive. If you don’t have insurance and you develop a cavity and you need a root canal, you could be facing hundreds of dollars of unexpected expenses. The pain level will drive you to correct the problem ASAP, and you might go into debt as a result.

All insurance plans work on one basic premise: They provide protection against the unexpected. Homeowners insurance, for example, can protect you from debt collectors if your home burns to the ground and you still owe money on your mortgage. Car insurance can protect you if you total your car and still owe money on your car loan. These policies can protect you from a significant amount of financial damage.

Dental insurance, by contrast, can protect you from losses, but those losses are rarely catastrophic. You might be responsible for hundreds of dollars in an emergency, but this might be the same amount of money you’re asked to pay in premiums.

The key to making an informed decision is to do your research. Ask your family members about their dental health, and the costs they’ve incurred in the last year. Some families are simply at a higher risk of dental problems, and if you fall into this category, you might want to carry dental insurance no matter the cost. If you have a lengthy history of your own dental problems, you might also consider dental insurance a necessity. You know you’ve needed help in the past, and it’s likely that you’ll need it in the future.

If you do choose to purchase dental insurance, look over the policy closely before you sign. Make sure the amount of money you’ll pay in premiums is significantly less than the upper limit of coverage. For example, if the plan costs you $1,000 dollars in fees and the coverage stops at $800 per year, you’re clearly wasting $200 per year on coverage you can’t use. If you’re having dental problems now, make sure the plan doesn’t require you to wait a few weeks or months before benefits start. Otherwise, you may end up paying for coverage, and then paying for emergency care out of your own pocket until the company begins to cover your costs.

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