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Dental Insurance No Waiting Period

By Insurance Industry Expert & Author
Updated on

Getting Dental Insurance That’s Ready When You Need It

One of the obstacles to getting dental care at the time it's needed is the date on which a dental plan will begin to pay dentists. The two main reasons for delays in coverage are:

  • The dental policy's effective date
  • Attaching waiting periods to various benefits
  • Deductibles

This article will educate you on the conditions delaying insurance coverage and then list plans that lack waiting periods.

Effective Date

The effective date is the day when a dental insurance policy begins its coverage, or is "in force." In other words, you cannot use your dental insurance before the effective date. Other terms for an effective date is a "start date" for the insurance policy or its commencement date. The image below shows how this website displays the effective date for each insurance policy on a quote page. The effective date is the text in red at the bottom. It states, "Apply by the last day of the current month, effective 1st of the following month."

dental plan benefits and cost summary

Effective Dates can vary by insurance company. Never apply for a dental plan until you know when the plan will become effective. If you don't see an effective date by the plan's name, you can look at a Plan Details page or plan brochure. On our Plan Details page, the effective date for a plan is displayed as follows.

plan details effective date information

Once a dental policy is effective, it will be active until the end of its term. A term is the length of time the insurance policy lasts, usually a year. A policy may be renewed or discontinued at the end of its term. Some enrollees may choose to end a policy earlier than the end of its term. A policy will also discontinue if an enrollee fails to pay his or her monthly premium obligations.

Dental Insurance Waiting Periods

A waiting period is the amount of time a consumer must be continuously enrolled in a dental plan before that plan will cover a specific benefit. Waiting periods are normally attached to specific services so a plan might have no waiting period for basic care such as fillings and x-rays but have a waiting period for crowns, root canals, and teeth whitening. For more detailed information, refer to our article "dental insurance waiting period."

A dental plan with a waiting period for orthodontic benefits may still be classified as a dental plan without waiting periods because orthodontic benefits are not generally considered core dental benefits. In fact, most individual dental insurance plans do not cover braces and other orthodontic care.

Don't Forget Deductibles

Deductibles are not waiting periods but they do have an affect on when a dental plan begins to pay for care. A deductible is the amount of money a dental plan enrollee must pay for covered care before the insurance company will begin to pay its share of costs. For example, if a dental plan has a $100 deductible then the enrollee will pay the first $100 of covered care out-of-pocket. Once the deductible amount is reached by the enrollee, the dental plan's normal cost sharing (copayments or coinsurance fees) for covered services is in effect until the beginning of the next plan year. At the beginning of a new plan year, the deductible period begins again.

There are three points that should be remembered about deductibles. First, not all dental plans have a deductible. Second, dental plan deductibles are often small. (Many dental plans have a deductible of $100 or less per enrollee on the plan.) Third, even dental plans with deductibles may exclude some categories of care from the deductible requirement. For example, preventive care such as annual check-ups and teeth cleaning may not be subject to a deductible.

Immediate Coverage

Dental plans without waiting periods for preventive, basic, and major dental care are sometimes labeled dental insurance immediate. This label can be a bit misleading because dental plans without waiting periods still have effective dates (see discussion above). For more information on immediate coverage dental plans, see our article "Dental Insurance Immediate Coverage."

Dental Plans Without Waiting Periods for Preventive, Basic, and Major Care

The below list includes dental plans in each state (and Washington D.C.) that do not have waiting periods for preventive, basic, and major dental care. Be certain to check the plan details page to make certain there have not been any plan updates that have changed their no waiting period status. You can also get price quotes for your age and zip code in a few clicks.

NOTE - Some of the below plans may not be available in all regions of the state for which it is listed.

State Insurance Company Plan
Alabama Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
Alaska Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 1500
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
Arizona Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Arkansas Renaissance Dental Max Choice Plus
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
California Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  California Dental Network Plan 595
Colorado Humana Loyalty Plus
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 2500
Connecticut Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
Delaware Dominion National Select Plan Basic
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Florida Humana Dental Value Plan HI215
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Georgia Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 1500
  Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
Hawaii Renaissance Dental MAX Choice
  Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
Idaho Humana Loyalty Plus
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
Illinois Guardian Direct Managed DentalGuard
  Humana Dental Value Plan C550
Indiana Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Iowa Humana Loyalty Plus
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Kansas Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 1500
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
Kentucky Delta Dental of Kentucky Bright smiles
  Delta Dental of Kentucky Happy Smiles
Louisiana Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Maine Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Maryland Dominion National Select Plan Basic
  Renaissance Dental MAX Choice
Massachusetts Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 1500
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Michigan Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 2500
Minnesota Humana Loyalty Plus
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
Mississippi Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 2000
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Missouri Humana Dental Value Plan HI215
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Montana Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 2000
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Nebraska Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Nevada Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 1500
  Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
New Hampshire Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
New Jersey Humana Loyalty Plus
  Dominion National Select Plan Premium
New Mexico Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
New York Guardian Direct Managed DentalGuard
  MetLife TakeAlong Dental HMO-Managed Care 245 (High)
North Carolina Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 2500
  Humana Loyalty Plus
North Dakota Renaissance Dental Max Choice
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
Ohio Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
  Humana Dental Value Plan HI215
Oklahoma Humana Loyalty Plus
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Oregon Dental Health Services Super SmartSmile
  Dental Health Services SmartSmile
Pennsylvania Dominion National Select Plan Basic
  Dominion National Select Plan Premium
Rhode Island Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 1500
  Ameritas Hollywood Mega Smile 2000
South Carolina Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
  Humana Loyalty Plus
South Dakota Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan
Tennessee Delta Dental of Tennessee Essential Advantage
  Humana Dental Value Plan HI215
Texas Guardian Direct Managed DentalGuard
  Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
Utah Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Renaissance Dental MAX Choice Plus
Vermont Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000
  Renaissance Dental Max Choice
Virginia Dominion National Select Plan Premium
  Humana Loyalty Plus
Washington State We didn't find any Washington State dental plans in our inventory that had no waiting period
Washington D.C. Delta Dental Immediate Coverage Plan
  Humana Loyalty Plus
West Virginia Renaissance Dental Max Choice Plus
  Careington 500 Series Dental Savings (Discount Program, Not Insurance)
Wisconsin Anthem Essential Choice Incentive
  Ameritas Hollywood Smile Premier 2500
Wyoming Humana Loyalty Plus
  Ameritas Dallas Smile Plan