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Cost of Dental Insurance

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Routine dental care is critical to maintaining good oral health, but the cost of regular trips to the dentist can add up quickly.  Although there are exceptions for children and low-income individuals, provincial health insurance plans typically do not cover dental treatment.  To help defray the cost, many people choose to purchase dental insurance.  If you are thinking about buying a plan, there are several things you should know about the cost of dental insurance to ensure you find one that fits your budget and provides the coverage you need.

Premiums

The premium is the cost most people think of first when they think about buying dental insurance.  It is the amount you pay every month to maintain your coverage.  Premiums vary from plan to plan based on the insurer and the level of coverage provided.  In general, plans that offer broader coverage have higher premiums, and those that offer narrower coverage have lower premiums.  While the premium is usually the largest cost associated with buying dental insurance in Canada, there are other costs associated with purchasing a plan.  It’s important to factor those into your decision as well.

Deductible

Dental insurance sometimes includes deductibles.  This is the amount you must pay before your insurer will begin paying for covered services.  For example, if your plan has a $250 deductible, you will be responsible for paying for the first $250 in eligible services you receive.  After that, your insurance plan will pay a percentage of the cost.

Co-payments/co-insurance

Co-payments or co-insurance is the amount you must pay at the time of service.  If your insurance plan requires co-payments, you pay a flat fee at the time of service.  If your plan requires co-insurance, you pay a percentage of the cost of services rendered.  Co-payments and co-insurance amounts should always be considered and reviewed before making your decision about a dental plan.

Plan Maximums

While dental insurance can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs, there is a limit to the amount it will cover.  Canada dental insurance plans have a maximum dollar amount they will pay for services rendered within a specified period of time.  For example, if your plan has an annual maximum of $1,000 for eligible services, the insurance carrier will pay $1,000 in dental treatment per benefit year.  After the insurer has paid the maximum you are responsible for any additional costs you incur during that time period.

It is important to assess the entire cost of dental insurance when choosing a plan to ensure you select one that fits your budget and provides the coverage you need.

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