Supplemental Dental Insurance
When you buy a major medical insurance policy, dental insurance is usually not included. Typically, you have to purchase a supplemental dental insurance plan separately.
Have you ever wondered, though, if you could have more than one dental plan? The answer is, “Yes, you can.” Supplemental dental insurance can help if you have dental needs that your current dental plan won’t cover.
However, while it may cut back on your out of pocket costs, having a second dental plan will not double your coverage. When you have two dental plans, the insurance companies work together to coordinate your benefits.
Supplemental dental insurance and benefit coordination
Having supplemental dental insurance, or “dual” coverage, does not mean you’ll be able to get dental work free. It means that your plans will work together and coordinate your benefits so you can get the work done for less.
In practice, this means one plan will be the “primary” plan and the other will be the “secondary” plan. The primary plan pays first, and then the secondary plan kicks in.
However, a secondary plan’s benefits are typically limited. In most cases, it only pays whichever is less: its normal benefit or the patient’s out of pocket costs under the primary plan.
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Example: How supplemental dental insurance works
Suppose you have two dental plans, and each includes two cleanings a year. That sounds like you’d be allowed to get a total of four cleanings a year, doesn’t it?
Actually, you would only be entitled to two. That’s because your dental plans will work together to coordinate your benefits. The primary plan covers two cleanings, leaving nothing for the second one to pick up.
This means that if you shop for a second plan, you will want to coordinate as well. You will want to look for additional coverage that fills gaps in your primary plan, not simply duplicate what you have.
Learn about Discount Dental Plans.