The following is presented as a short synopsis of “dental insurance” fact vs. fiction.
Let’s start with the premise that dental insurance is not insurance, in the true sense of the word. Insurance traditionally is coverage for catastrophic loss such as debilitating illness, a totaled automobile, or when your house burns down. Dental insurance is instead a shared risk or co-payment policy with strict limitations and exclusions.
Dental “insurance” started with the first policy written in Washington state in 1954 with the maximum coverage of $1000. The standard today is still a $1000 maximum with some policies being less and a few employers with a higher maximum. If policies today were written to factor in inflation, the annual maximum would be $8500. The point being that policies today provide far less coverage.
Fiction is that dental insurance was ever intended to completely restore one’s oral condition to full health, function or esthetics. The facts are as follows:
- The percent of U.S. population with insurance is about 50% and is dropping.
- Dental policies are becoming more restrictive with fewer covered benefits.
- Employers are changing policies to shift more cost onto the employees.
- Many routine services are not covered by insurance companies. This does not mean they are not necessary or appropriate, just not covered.
- With the ongoing changes to our nation’s health care system, there will also be changes to dental insurance. At this time these changes are uncertain.
We feel that dental insurance can be a great benefit for many patients and despite limitations we will do everything in our power to insure you get every benefit dollar you are entitled to.