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Friday, February 6, 2009

Dental Insurance: What Really Is Important

By Nathan D. Kopeck

Having to go to the dentist has to be one of the most dreaded things for most people. The simple truth is that if it were only for the physical pain, it would probably be ok. Unfortunately, it also carries a hefty bill, so that's even more of a deterrent. Fortunately, since dental insurance is a competitive industry, there are plenty of websites where you can get quotes on your desired coverage. Procrastinating on this is usually a very bad (and painful idea), as the more you wait, the more painful and expensive things get.

The very first thing you should look into when it comes to dental insurance is "Does your employer provide that sort of coverage?". If it does, it will be included in your health insurance plan, so the payment will be deducted as a part of your health insurance payments. In some cases, if it's obvious that you'll need extensive dental care, the policy may not cover you and you'll have to get a dental care plan so you can still save some money.

Like I said, thanks to the Internet, the process of finding a dental plan that's a good fit for you is considerably less complicated than it was a few years ago. The industry being very competitive, a bit of comparison-shopping will net you a good plan with good coverage at a decent price. Since you don't have to physically walk from one place to the other, comparing options and prices that best suit your needs becomes a lot easier and making the right choice becomes a lot simpler. Here's what you should be looking at.

Reasonable premiums. One of the simplest ways to avoid getting charged more than necessary is to take several offers from several companies and pit them one against the other. Of course, in order to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, you'll want to pick similar plans for this exercise. If you look at them thoroughly, you will greatly increase your chances of selecting one where your dollar goes further, compared to the other ones.

Preventive dental care. A good dental plan not only insures you for costs related to going to the dentist, but it also provides coverage for stuff that prevents major problems as well. Such stuff includes, but are not limited to, x-rays, regular cleanings, and free check-ups. Not only do those measures allow you to have better overall dental health, but they also save the insurance company money because they decrease the likelihood of you have to undergo something major.

Company background. There are a number of things related to the company that are worth being checked out because they might turn out to be critical down the road. For example, has the company made headlines lately? Good or bad? Is there some way to assess the company's financial soundness? No one want to get insured from a company that goes under a few months later. Do they have a good reputation of satisfactory settling of claims? You don't want to have to jump through hoops when you submit yours.

Customer testimonials. Online message boards and Q&A websites can provide you with first-hand testimonials from both previous and current customers of the company. This can prove invaluable, as long as you remember to take everything with a pinch of salt and that not everybody is who they claim to be online.

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