By Deborah Pinnock on Jun 22, 2014 @ 08:30 AM
I’m literally sweating as my waiter, along with the expectant eyes of the other people in our lunch party, wait for me to place my order. Their stares and the occasional glance at a watch, asks the question, “What are you going to order”? But with so many choices and so little time, plus the fact that I’m on a budget, I’m flustered. I quickly scan the menu (for the sixth time) and decide to go with one of the less expensive menu items versus kicking myself later for spending a lot of money on lunch.
Many Floridians are in a similar situation. With the beginning of the Affordable Care Act, they are faced with a large menu of health and Florida dental plans, and are simply not sure what to choose. So, let’s take one section of the menu, “Selecting a Dental Plan in Florida” and find a way to make it easier for you to make the right choice for you and your family. Here are three things to consider when thinking about purchasing a dental plan in Florida that will help you narrow down your choices:
Is the dental carrier sound and stable?
Make sure that the dental insurance company you are considering is sound, stable and licensed to provide dental insurance in Florida. Ever heard the phrase “too good to be true”? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, each year, companies and consumers become victims of insurance fraud. For example, it could be a fake company, selling fake policies at unbelievably low costs but then “gypping” the consumer when it comes time to pay claims. It could also be a dishonest insurance agent who collects premiums from members that somehow never make it to the insurance company. If you are not sure that a company is sound and stable, contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation at 850-413-3140 or visit their website at http://www.floir.com/ .
What’s your situation?
Everyone’s situation is different. When it comes to dental insurance, one size simply does not fit all. For example, Florida is well known as one of the snowbird capitals of the nation. So, a good portion of our residents spend half the year here and the other half up north; so they need plans that are flexible and that will allow them to visit network and non-network providers. So which of the following scenarios do you fall into?
- I’m in great dental shape and only need two free cleanings per year.
- I need a plan with specialty care because I need a root canal, a crown and an extraction.
- I love my primary dentist but he/she is not a network provider with the plan.
- I’ve never had a primary dentist so any dentist on the plan will do.
The point is that it’s important to consider your situation and connect with a dental insurance company that has a plan type that will fit you and your needs.
Are you on budget?
Finding a great dental plan that also offers significant savings is just smart shopping. Being cost-conscious is the responsible thing to do in today’s economy. So, it’s important to look at your budget and decide what you can afford to pay for dental benefits per month. Keep in mind that selecting an affordable plan is not just about the monthly rate…you should also consider the cost of the dental services offered. So in short, take a realistic look at your financial situation. Then, review the monthly premiums and cost of the dental services offered on the dental plan. Once you’ve done these two things, you are ready to pick the plan that is right for you.