Many of us associate poor dental hygiene with cavities, fillings, and unpleasant trips to the dentist. However, there are also links between poor dental hygiene and other more severe conditions such as heart disease, so it's important to keep your teeth in check.
If you’re considering taking out private health care, you may be wondering whether or not you should add dental cover to your plan. This blog looks at everything you need to know to get the right cover for you and your family!
Why Should I Consider Adding Dental Cover to My Private Health Plan?
Firstly it is important to note that the cost of dental treatment can be expensive. Even in those countries with free universal healthcare, such as the United Kingdom, adult citizens are usually required to pay for dental treatment, including routine check-ups, in most circumstances. Without cover, you could end up spending thousands of dollars on dental fees depending on the treatment you require.
It’s also worth considering that dental care is largely designed to be preventative. Having dental cover as part of your private health insurance plan will mean you are more likely to go for regular check-ups, therefore avoiding the need for more acute, emergency treatment later on (and the associated costs).
Adding dental cover to your private health plan will also mean you can access quality care at a private dentist, helping to avoid long waiting times in the public system. Finally, if you are relocating overseas and opting for an international health insurance plan with dental cover, this will mean you can access dental treatment both at home and abroad, and usually get treatment from an English-speaking dentist if you prefer. Having this reassurance can be very important, particularly for expats living overseas.
What Do I Need to Know about Adding Dental Cover to My Plan?
Firstly you need to consider the cost. The cost of adding dental cover to your private health insurance plan will vary depending on a range of factors, but as a rule it will make your premium more expensive – as is the case with adding any other additional benefits to your plan such as maternity cover.
Consider the costs involved and assess the right level of cover for you and your family. For example, if you have children or teenagers that are likely to require orthodontic treatment in the coming years, it can be useful to know these costs will be covered.
You should also be aware that many private health insurance plans do not include dental cover as standard. While many international health insurance plans do include cover for emergency dental care, for example if you’ve been in an accident, they may not include routine cover such as check-ups, x-rays, fillings and polishing.
More complex dental treatment may also not be covered, such as crowns, dentures and orthodontics. Before purchasing your plan, check what is and isn’t covered to see whether you want to opt to add any additional dental treatment to your plan.
Finally make a note of any waiting period or co-insurances which are often applied to dental cover. With our Now Health International plans, we have a nine month waiting period for dental cover, meaning you will not be able to claim for dental treatment during the first 9 months of your plan cover.
Are There Any Exclusions to Dental Cover?
Different private health insurers will have various exclusions relating to their dental cover. For example, most insurers do not usually include cosmetic dentistry costs as part of a private health plan, except in cases where an accident has caused an injury that subsequently necessitates such treatment.
They may also exclude cover for treatment made necessary from an accidental dental injury caused by eating and drinking, or boxing or playing rugby without proper mouth protection. Always check the exclusions and terms and conditions for more details.
How Do I Use My Dental Cover?
If you do decide to opt for dental cover in your private health insurance plan, remember to consider these three things before you start using your cover.
A benefit limit will usually be applied to any dental cover included in your health insurance plan, so you should check what your limit is, including how many routine check-ups and cleaning/polishings you are entitled to per year. This will help you to avoid a situation where you are faced with any unexpected dental bills that are not covered by your insurer.
You should also be aware of whether any co-insurance, per visit excess or annual deductible applies to your dental treatment, which may mean you will incur a small out of pocket cost whenever you use your plan to seek dental treatment.
Finally, consider whether your insurance provider offers direct billing for dental treatment, meaning you can access a cashless service, or if you need to pay and claim back the costs.
Should You Add Dental Cover to Your Private Health Plan?
In summary, you should carefully consider whether adding dental cover to your health insurance plan is right for your needs.
If you want to keep your premium more affordable, you may prefer not to add dental cover, but remember that you will need to be prepared to pay for any dental treatment you do require. If you do choose to add dental cover to help provide peace of mind and reduce your treatment costs, remember to check some of the important points highlighted in this blog to make sure you get the appropriate level of cover for you and your family.
Regardless of whether you choose to take out dental cover, don't forget to look after your teeth and get regular check-ups to prevent more serious problems later in life!