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Dental Insurance

Using Dental Insurance

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Before agreeing to a dental procedure:

  • Check with your dentist to be sure whether he or she accepts your insurance.
  • Check to see how much you will have to pay out of pocket
  • Check to see if the procedure requires pre-authorization from the insurance company. 
  • If you have a tax advantaged health savings account such as a Medical flexible spending account (FSA), check to see whether you can pay the out-of-pocket costs with pre-tax dollars. 
  • If the procedure is major, consider getting a second opinion from another dentist not connected with your dentist. There may be a less extensive (and less expensive) alternative. 
    • Get a copy of your x-rays and test results for the dentist who will provide the second opinion so you don't have to pay for these tests again.
    • Check your insurance to see if it will cover second opinions.  
  • Negotiate with the dentist to see if you can reduce out-of-pocket costs. 
    • If you call other local dentists you may find that other dentists charge less for the needed procedure. If so, this can be the basis for a negotiation.
    • At the least, you may be able to get a discount for paying cash, or if you are a senior. 

If the cost of the procedure exceeds the annual maximum coverage, see if the procedure and thus the cost can be spread out over more than one plan year.
Check your health insurance to see if it will cover a needed dental procedure. For example, Medicare generally pays dental bills if they are related to a medical incident that requires a hospital stay. There may also be basic dental benefits contained in a private health insurance policy. 

NOTE: How claims are filed and whether you need to keep track of payments, depends on the type of dental plan. For more information, see the document in "to Learn More."


To Learn More

More Information

Dental Insurance Benefits

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