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Immediate Coverage Dental Insurance

By Insurance Industry Expert & Author
Updated on

What Is Immediate Coverage?

Some dental plans describe themselves as “immediate coverage,” “instant coverage” or for “immediate use.” This article will:

  • Clarify what is meant by “immediate” or “instant coverage”
  • Provide a state-by-state list of dental plans with immediate coverage

When a dental plan describes its coverage as "immediate" or "instant," it is indicating that this plan does not have waiting periods on its primary benefits (i.e. the dental services it covers). A waiting period is a requirement for customers to be enrolled in the plan for a given length time (e.g. 6-months) before the plan will pay for a particular type of care (e.g. crowns). Waiting periods vary by dental plan but they are a routine aspect observed within the dental insurance market.

Sometimes a plan describing itself as immediate coverage may have a waiting period for orthodontic benefits such as braces. Orthodontic care, as well as cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening, is not viewed as a core benefit and may have a waiting period even on a plan that claims instant coverage. Core benefits are not a consistent set of covered dental services but usually come in the form of preventive care (e.g. annual exams and teeth cleaning), basic care (e.g. fillings, extractions), and major care (e.g. root canals, crowns).

A dental plan without waiting periods allows an enrollee to use the plan's benefits once the plan is active. An active dental plan is one where a consumer has submitted an application, paid the monthly premium, and has reached the plan's effective date, which is the first day the plan's coverage starts. For more on effective dates, see our article Dental Insurance No Waiting Period.

What Immediate Coverage Is and Isn't

Immediate coverage does not mean there is absolutely no delay from the time a consumer applies for insurance to the time the insurance can be used.

First, a consumer must wait for the dental plan's effective date for insurance coverage to begin. The effective date is the beginning of the insurance coverage period.

Second, a plan may have a deductible that requires a specific amount of out-of-pocket spending on dental care by the enrollee before the insurance begins to pay for services. Usually, dental plan deductibles are modest (e.g. $50 - $100 per enrollee on the plan). Some dental plans have no deductibles.

Third, waiting periods may still exist for dental services outside core benefits (such as cosmetic procedures and braces).

Fourth, immediate coverage is limited to the benefits within the dental plan. The dental services covered by insurance varies from plan to plan and is not standardized. Always review the details on a dental plan to confirm the breadth of its coverage. You can make this review by reading the online Plan Details for the insurance or reading the plan’s summary of benefits.

List of Immediate Coverage Dental Insurance Plans in the U.S.

The below list includes dental plans in each state (and Washington D.C.) that have immediate coverage without waiting periods for preventive, basic, and major dental care. Some of these plans may not be available in every county of the state for which it's listed. Also, remember that benefits begin on the policy's effective date.

Be certain to check the plan details page to make certain there have not been any updates that introduce a waiting period. Once you've finished reviewing the plans, you can also get personalized dental plan quotes for your age and zip code with just a few clicks.

State Insurance Company Plan
Alabama Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 2500
  Dental Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Alaska Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 2000
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Arizona Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
Arkansas Humana Loyalty Plus
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
California Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Dental Health Services Super SmartSmile
Colorado Humana Loyalty Plus
  Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
Connecticut Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
Delaware Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Florida Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Renaissance Dental MAX Choice
Georgia Humana Dental Value Plan C550
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
Hawaii Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 1500
Idaho Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Illinois Humana Dental Value Plan C550
Indiana Renaissance Dental Max Choice
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice Plus
Iowa Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 1500
  Renaissance Dental MAX Choice
Kansas Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Kentucky Dental Dental of KY Perfect Smiles
  Anthem BlueCross BlueShield Essential Choice Incentive
Louisiana Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
Maine Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Maryland Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Dominion National Select Plan Premium
Massachusetts Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Michigan Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
Minnesota Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 1500
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice Plus
Mississippi Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Missouri Humana Dental Value Plan HI215
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
Montana Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Nebraska Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Nevada Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
New Hampshire Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 1500
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
New Jersey Dominion National Select Plan Basic
  Dominion National Select Plan Premium
New Mexico Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
New York MetLife TakeAlong Dental HMO-Managed Care 350 (Low)
  Guardian Managed DentalGuard
North Carolina Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 1500
North Dakota Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice Plus
Ohio Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 2500
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
Oklahoma Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Oregon Dental Health Services SmartSmile
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 1500
Pennsylvania Humana Loyalty Plus
  Dominion National Select Plan Basic
Rhode Island Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 1500
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
South Carolina Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice Plus
South Dakota Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 2500
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Tennessee Delta Dental of Tennessee Superior Advantage
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Texas Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  MetLife TakeAlong Dental HMO-Managed Care 245 (High)
Utah Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Renaissance Dental MAX Choice
Vermont Renaissance Dental MAX Choice
  Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
Virginia Dominion National Select Plan Premium
  Dominion National Select Plan Basic
Washington State We didn't find any Washington State dental plans in our inventory that had immediate coverage
Washington D.C. Dominion National Select Plan Basic
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
West Virginia Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Wisconsin Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
Wyoming Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Note: Not all plans available in all areas.

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