Nobody gets excited about going to the dentist. Just mention the word “dentist” and you can hear the buzzing of drills and see your money being sucked away like saliva in that tiny dental vacuum. Let’s face it, dental care can be expensive. But is dental insurance the right answers to help offset your costs? Is it worth it? Unlike health insurance, which serves to protect you from thousands in out-of-pocket fees, dental insurance is in a league of its own.
Is Cigna dental insurance worth it?
Forbes ran an article a few years back that summed up the difference between medical insurance and dental insurance perfectly. “With health insurance, you pay your deductible and then a significantly smaller portion of the rest of the bill. Dental coverage is the opposite. You receive a certain amount of coverage, and after that you’re on your own to pay the balance of the bill.”
To give you an example of what this means, let’s breakdown how dental insurance works. The annual maximum of most dental plans is no more than $1,500, but some are as low as $750. The annual maximum is the total amount of money your dental insurance provider will pay toward the cost of your procedure for that year.
Let’s pretend your dental insurance plan is like most and covers:
- Preventative care (like exams and x-rays) at 100%
- Basic procedures (such as fillings and extractions) at 80%
- Major procedures ( including crowns, bridges, some root canals and dentures) at 50%
If you go the dentist and find out you need two crowns that cost a total of $1,200, you’re responsible for 50% and your dental insurance provider pays the other 50%. This means you will pay $600 out of pocket. The $600 that your dental insurance provider pays will count toward your $1,500 annual maximum, leaving you with just $900. Add in a root canal and you’ll quickly blow through the rest.
Do you need Cigna dental insurance?
With that being said, you’re probably wondering if you need dental insurance. That depends on a variety of factors, like your age, overall health and budget to name a few. If you’ve always had a clean bill of health, putting aside money every month to pay for preventative care out-of-pocket may be more cost effective for you than signing up for an individual insurance plan.
However, if you’re able to get it through your employer as part of a group plan, it’s worth looking into since the monthly premiums are usually quite low.
How much does Cigna dental insurance cost?
The amount you’ll pay for dental insurance depends on the plan type you have.
DHMO: A dental health maintenance organization plan is the cheapest option, but it has the most restrictions. It gives you access to a limited number of dental providers, but if you need to see a specialist, you’ll have to be referred by your primary care dentist. Plus, there are no annual maximums to help with the cost of care. Instead, you’ll pay a percentage of all of your procedures, except for preventive, out of pocket.
DPPO: A dental preferred provider organization allows you to visit the dentist of your choice, but you’ll pay less if you see an in-network provider. Unlike a DHMO, this one has an annual maximum.
Indemnity: This is also known as a fee-for-service or traditional plan. The main difference between it and a DPPO is that you pay for the services in full, submit a claim and are then reimbursed a percentage by your dental insurance provider. The amount you’re reimbursed is usually less than with a DPPO.
Now that you know the basic differences, let’s look at the cost of each. In 2014 the National Association of Dental Plans (NAPD) reported the average cost of group dental insurance for an employee, as well as for an employee and their family, as listed below. You can see that the amount varies widely depending on the type of dental insurance plan you want.
Cost of employee-only dental plans
- DHMO plan: $18.59/month
- DPPO plan: $32.12/month
- Indemnity plan: $24.00/month
Cost of employee and family dental plans
- DHMO plan: $37.09/month
- DPPO plan: $72.13/month
- Indemnity plan: $55.51/month
Cigna discount dental plans
If you can’t get Cigna dental insurance through your employer or you aren’t interested in what they’re offering, check out a Cigna dental savings plan. Cigna dental savings plans start at just $124.95 for a year’s worth of savings. That breaks down to less than $11 a month, which is what you would spend on one trip to get fast food.
The annual fee gets you access to a network of more than 100,000 dentists, so you’re sure to find one in your area. When you visit any of these dentists, you’ll get discounts between 15% and 50% off your procedure. For most plans this also includes discounts on procedures that dental insurance doesn’t cover like teeth whitening and dental implants. Depending on the dental savings plan you choose, you can even get preventative care totally free. Plus, a dental savings plan can also be used as a supplement or backup to your dental insurance to help cover what it doesn’t. Ask your dentist’s office about coordinating insurance benefits with your Cigna dental savings plan. Or, if your insurance is provided by your employer, check with your company’s HR department.
In closing, one thing is for sure. You have several options when it comes to dental coverage and at a range of price points. Take some time to research your options to find what works best for you.