An orthodontist is a type of dental specialist and orthodontic insurance is designed to cover problems that may arise with your teeth or jaw. Most people refer to an orthodontist as where you would need to go if you needed braces for your teeth.
There are many differences between a standard dental insurance policy and orthodontic insurance and most people are not aware of this. As a matter of fact, most consumers are not even aware that their dental insurance plan does not provide for orthodontic care. Here are a few things you should be aware of before you buy orthodontic insurance.
#1. An orthodontic insurance plan is not like a standard dental policy. This means that it’s not going to pay for any cleanings that need to be performed or check-ups in a traditional sense. Unlike a traditional policy, this is not a general maintenance plan.
#2. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. This is the same as any other insurance policy. This means that if you need braces right now that this policy will do you no good. The idea behind orthodontic insurance, or any type of insurance for that matter, is that you buy it with intent of providing protection “just in case” something might go wrong. It’s no different that your car insurance policy. You don’t go see an agent after the vehicle is already wrecked, do you? Of course not! These policies work the same way. You can’t just go buy a plan and expect to have your problems immediately paid for. It doesn’t work that way.
#3. You’ll be required to go through a mandatory “waiting period” of between 6-12 months before the insurance company will begin to provide any sort of payment for existing conditions.
#4. Most plans only provide a maximum of 50% coverage at any one time. That’s pretty self explanatory. This means that if the cost of braces for yourself or your child is $4,000 then you’ll have to pay half or, in this case, $2,000 out of your own pocket.
#5. Most plans provide a low annual coverage limit. Most plans I’ve seen recently only provide a maximum payout of $2,000 per year for an individual plan. Just as above, if you’re treatment costs exceed your annual limit then you’ll have to pay the difference yourself.
The fact of the matter is that dental care is expensive and orthodontic insurance is no exception. If you or someone you love has an existing problem then you may want to look at other options, such as a discount dental plan or perhaps try to get financing.