How to Compare Private Dental Insurance
Hands up who loves going to the dentist? We know, there’s not many of you out there. But the problem is, everybody needs to take care of their teeth. Even Billy Sumo doesn’t like the dentist. He used to tell his parents he didn’t need to go, because he brushed twice a day and flossed his teeth. Unfortunately though, that’s not enough. That’s why Billy has prepared this information to help you compare private dental insurance.
We all need to see the dentist one time or another, even Billy Sumo. That’s why he’s here to make the process as painless as possible. Well, for your wallet, at least! Even the simplest dental check-ups can be pretty pricey if you don’t have private dental cover. In fact, the cost of dental treatment is a huge reason why Australians avoid it. So while we can’t take away the sound of that drill, we can at least help you compare private dental insurance.
Understand the Types of Private Dental Insurance
When you want to compare private dental insurance, what you’re looking at is a private health insurance extras policy. You can’t really take out private dental insurance by itself. Dental is probably one of the most frequently used parts of private extras cover, so its little wonder people want the best value for money. Generally, dental treatment is split into two categories within an extras policy.
When you compare private dental insurance, general dental is the term given to basic cover. With general dental, you’ll get cover for preventative dental treatment such as check-ups, x-rays and cleaning. You’ll also be covered for everybody’s favourite dental experience – getting a filling.
Extras cover usually comes in three types: Basic, Medium and Comprehensive. As the levels go up, so do the things you’re covered for. If you only want general dental, you’re best to keep costs down and choose a basic policy.
Major dental is a higher level of cover. If you anticipate having some dental issues in the future, this is what you want. Major dental refers to treatment over and above the regular cleaning and fillings. Things like crowns, wisdom teeth removal and bridges will be covered. You’ll be covered for dental surgery such as veneers or treatment for gum diseases. It won’t necessarily include endodontics or orthodontics (braces, fixing tooth decay etc).
Having said that, major dental is usually a feature of Medium or Comprehensive extras policies. Those levels of cover will normally include endodontics and orthodontics. This will vary between insurers, so always check the product disclosure statement and understand what’s covered.
Understand What You Need
We’ve talked about general dental and major dental. The term ‘major dental’ can be misleading. Major dental doesn’t cover everything though. Three categories usually define dental treatment.
Periodontics: This refers to diagnosing, treating and even preventing diseases.
Endodontics: Refers to treatment of the dental pulp. This might include root canal surgery
Orthodontics: This is more about facial and jaw structures. It could include braces and other treatments for out of place teeth.
The type of cover you choose really depends on your circumstances. If you’ve always taken care of your teeth and never had much of a problem, you might be fine with general dental insurance cover.
If you have a family, particular young adults, you may need to consider major dental insurance cover. Orthodontic work is quite common among young adults, so you might want to consider high level cover for your teenagers. Orthodontic work isn’t just for braces, so keep in mind it certainly isn’t just teenagers who need cover.
Like many aspects of health cover, when you compare private dental insurance you want to understand the policy. The product disclosure statement outlines everything. So make sure you read it carefully. It’s also the best way of making sure you’re only paying for things you need!
What are Waiting Periods?
A waiting period is the amount of time you need to wait before making a claim. Insurers put waiting periods in place so that people can’t just take out cover right before they need major treatments. You can never predict when you might need cover, so you should consider what cover you need before you actually need it.
For general dental, waiting periods can vary between 0-6 months. Major dental can be up to 12 months due to the increased cost of treatment.
Waiting periods are usually clearly advertised. Like anything health related, we hope we never have to claim. But in this case, it’s important to have dental cover well before you need it. That way, you won’t have to wait!
Are There Annual Limits?
Most dental cover comes with annual limits. They will vary depending on the level of cover you have. As we’ve learned, there’s usually Basic, Medium and Comprehensive cover. The limits usually increase as the premium costs go up.
For dental insurance cover, this means you only have a certain amount you can claim each year. If your annual limit is $750 and you end up spending $1000 on dental costs, you won’t be able to claim it all back.
Will I Still Pay Out of Pocket Expenses?
Here’s a handy tip. When you compare private dental insurance, look for something called ‘No Gaps’ cover. This will usually only apply on preventative treatments like x-rays, cleaning and oral exams. What does that mean though? It means you won’t be out of pocket at all for preventative procedures.
When it comes to major dental, you’ll usually be a little bit out of pocket. It can be difficult to understand at times, especially if you’re within your annual limit. It’s a good thing to look out for when you compare private dental insurance. The better your policy, the more chance you have of getting the most back.
How Do I Compare Private Dental Insurance?
If you want to compare private dental insurance from our panel of providers, look no further than Billy Sumo. Billy takes the hard work out of saving money. Who doesn’t want that?