Can I get private dental insurance instead of the plan offered at my employer?
Private dental plans versus group dental options
Are you satisfied with the dental plan offered at your employer? Some companies offer great dental benefits, while others may offer skimpy plans with several limitations. We’ll discuss the benefits of group dental plans versus individual dental plans available in the private market to help you decide what is the best dental option for you.
Dental plans offered by employers can vary in many ways
If you work at a company that offers an employee benefits package, you’re not alone. Depending on the size of an employer, many companies will offer a benefits package to employees that can include health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, as well as many other types of benefits plans.
While medical insurance is typically the most sought after benefit, the second most popular employee benefit is usually dental insurance. However, not all group dental plans are created equal. There are many types of group dental plans including PPO plans, HMO plans, In Network only plans, as well as discount dental plans.
One of the downsides of employee benefit plans is that you’re limited to the plans and carriers your employer chooses to offer. These plans and provider networks can change from year to year, and some plans may include waiting periods for new hires, while others may not.
It’s important to understand the type of dental plan that may be offered at your employer. Your company may offer great dental benefits or your options may be limited, and not include the benefits you’re looking for. The first step is to properly understand your current benefit options.
Employer paid versus voluntary dental options
When it comes to employee benefits, there are two main categories of plan options. These are employer paid plans versus voluntary plan options. Some types of insurance plans like health insurance require the employer to pay a portion of a plan’s cost. Other types of plans such as dental insurance gives the employer the choice of whether to contribute a portion of a plan’s cost or shift the cost to the employees.
A voluntary dental plan is when an employee is required to pay a portion or all of the plan’s cost. This is important to understand because when the company pays for the cost of your dental plan, it usually makes sense to have this coverage, even if it’s not an ideal plan. However if you have a voluntary dental option, then you’ll want to make sure the plan is meeting your benefit needs because you’ll be responsible for the cost.
This is when it may be a good idea to compare the plans offered by your company to other dental plan options that are available in the private market. Then you’ll be able to decide what makes the most sense for your situation.
Individual and family dental plan options
Individual and family dental plans are different than group dental plan options. These private market dental plans are designed to meet the needs of individuals, families, or seniors regardless of their employment status.
Because of this, there can be a variety of plan types to meet a broad array of benefit needs. Some plans for families may include orthodontic benefits for dependent children. Plans best suited for seniors over age 65 may include large provider networks with no waiting periods. Other low cost discount dental plans can be a great choice for those on a budget looking to get the care they need.
The main idea is to compare the dental plan options at your employer to the other dental plan options in the private market. Most companies will have an open enrollment period once a year for members to determine whether they want to sign up for insurance benefits. This is a great time to evaluate your plan options and see if a private dental plan may offer better benefits at a lower cost than what your employer is offering. You can use online quote sites like EasyDentalQuotes to see private dental plans available in your area.
Choose the best plan to meet your dental needs
Employer sponsored insurance benefits can be a great opportunity. Most employees are grateful for having access to insurance benefits, especially the ones their company pays for.
However as we’ve discussed, there are some scenarios where it can make sense to shop for alternatives in the private market. If you’re willing to do a little research and comparison during your open enrollment period, you can be confident that you’re choosing the best dental plan to meet your needs.
Compare dental plans in your area