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Why Do Dental Insurance Plans Have Waiting Periods?

October 23, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — rosenfeld @ 11:13 am
dental team member explaining dental insurance waiting periods to two patients

You’ve had a toothache for a while, but you were afraid to visit your dentist for treatment because you didn’t have dental insurance. Once you finally bought insurance, you were excited to use it. But then you find out that you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can use your benefits. What exactly are dental insurance waiting periods? Why do they exist? What services do they affect? Continue reading to discover the answers to these questions.

What Are Dental Insurance Waiting Periods?

People are often surprised that they can’t take advantage of all of their benefits immediately after they sign up for coverage. During a dental insurance waiting period, your insurance company will not cover certain procedures. Depending on the type of plan you have purchased, your waiting period may last anywhere from a few months to an entire calendar year.

Why Are There Waiting Periods?

While waiting periods might seem needlessly cruel, they actually help keep insurance costs down in the long run. They’re basically like insurance for the insurance company. Waiting periods encourage people to seek regular dental care instead of buying a plan right before a major procedure and cancelling the plan once the procedure is finished. If a majority of people keep paying for dental insurance even when their teeth are perfectly healthy, premiums can stay low for everyone.

Can I Still Visit the Dentist During My Waiting Period?

Dental insurance waiting periods most often apply to major procedures such as crowns or dental implants. You can find out whether you have a waiting period, how long it is, and what services are affected by looking at your benefits summary. If you need a procedure that isn’t covered during the waiting period, you’ll be responsible for the full cost.

Some services, however, are actually covered from day one. More often than not, there is no waiting period for routine preventive care, which includes checkups, cleanings, and X-rays. These services are designed to prevent the need for pricier treatments down the road, which is why your insurance company will often gladly cover them.

Signing up for a dental insurance plan can seem complicated and expensive, especially if you’ve been had one before. However, if you take advantage of your benefits by attending two routine checkups a year, you can reap thousands of dollars in savings in the long term. If you need help understanding any part of your dental insurance plan, a member of your dental team should be happy to help.

About the Practice

At East Islip Dental Care, their eight skilled dentists have been providing quality care to patients in East Islip, NY for decades. With so many countless skillsets and talents, patients can get anything they need at one convenient location. They are in-network with many, many insurance providers, including Aetna, Delta Dental, and MetLife. For more information on dental insurance or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (631) 581-8600.

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