Dental Insurance

Dental work doesn't tend to be regular. Major dental work tends to be needed at very short notice and is very expensive. And toothache is not a problem that most people are happy to deal with later if they have any choice. Dental work is, however, fairly predictable over the long term, it is just hard to predict at any given time. Dental insurance plans are designed to help with this.

Most Canadians are not covered for dental treatment under Medicare, although this depends on the Province. 15 million Canadians have dental insurance which compares to 22 million with health insurance.

Dental Insurance Providers

Health and dental insurance tend to be provided by the same providers, who if they are not specialist health insurance providers tend to mainly be life insurance companies, although there have been some new entrants offering a wider range of cover. There has been a recent trend for companies that specialise in dental health insurance to enter the market, although a number of these are simply brands that are owned and operated by health insurance companies

Dental plan insurance is often offered by employers as part of the employment package. This is particularly if they are a large employer or the employer tends to be in competition with large employers. An alternative to an employee dental health insurance scheme is a group or affinity scheme offered to the employees for a discount rate. This tends to be part of the general health plan. Affinity schemes are also run by trade unions, professional associations and alumni association.

Dental insurance premiums are available as a tax deduction to self employed people as long as the premiums do not exceed $1500 and the same policy is extended to any full time employees

Individual dental insurance is also available from health insurance providers. Recently there has been a growth of specialist dental plans being offered in dental surgeries and sold by dentists for a commission. Family dental insurance is sold by both health insurance companies and dentists. In both cases the insured person should be clear what level of cover they are getting. Full coverage dental insurance covers the whole range of dental work, including regular visits and pre-existing conditions. These tend to be offered by Blue Cross groups. The dental insurance quotes for this tends to be very expensive.

A more affordable dental insurance option covers regular visits to the dentist and a proportion of the more expensive work (such as fillings and crowns). This tends to be considerably cheaper. It could be argued that this is less of an insurance policy and more of a way of spreading reasonably well known dental expenditure in regular monthly payments rather than at a single time. There are a number of dental insurance plans that fall between these two types of plans and this means that exclusions and conditions should be looked at.

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