A Guide to PPO, HMO, & Discount Savings Plans in TN
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As a state with nearly seven million residents, Tennessee supports a healthy market for dental insurance with a variety of insurance companies competing against one another. The information below will help you quickly understand the key issues of Tennessee dental coverage and then you can compare rates for plans in your area. Specifically, this article will:
The three dental plans below are the most popular for Tennessee residents purchasing coverage through DentalInsurance.com.
What Does Dental Insurance in Tennessee Cover?
The scope of benefits observed in Tennessee dental insurance mirrors the benefit options seen in other states. Benefit designs range in coverage of preventive and basic dental services to comprehensive plans that include major dental care such as dental surgery and periodontal care. If you are searching for a dental plan that spans a wide range of benefits, consider using the below list of dental services as a tool to evaluate a plan's breadth of coverage.
- Bi-annual (i.e. twice a year) oral exams, teeth cleaning and x-rays
- Sealants and fluoride treatments
- Traditional silver fillings and composite (white) fillings
- Teeth whitening
- Tooth extraction
- Endontic services (e.g. root canal) and periodontic care (e.g. scaling, root planing)
- Dental implant
- Oral surgery
- Emergency palliative care (i.e. pain relief)
Most dental plans do not cover orthodontia. However, a minority do, often with a separate deductible and a lifetime limit on insurer contributions. You can review the services covered by a dental plan in a Summary of Benefits or in the Plan Details page for a plan featured on this site. To see plans in your area, get a dental rate quote. Another resource is a plan brochure.
When reviewing covered dental services, be certain to note the costs associated with the services because out-of-pocket costs can potentially exceed the amount you pay on monthly premiums.
How Much Does a Tennessee Dental Plan Cost?
There is a considerable range in prices for Tennessee dental plans. We collected monthly premium quotes from 32 plans in the state for a 33 year-old applicant. At the bottom of the range of the plans we examined, there was the Careington 500 Series Dental Savings Discount Card. This option cost $8.95 a month. The top of the range was an indemnity plan offered by Nationwide, the Nationwide Classic 2000 + VSP Premium. This plan included vision benefits alongside dental benefits and cost $92.49 a month.
The average premium among the 32 plans examined in 2023 was $38.52. All but two of the plans had a maximum benefit. A maximum benefit is an annual limit on an insurer's spending for an enrollee's dental care. Most plan's have a single maximum benefit regardless of how long a person is enrolled in the coverage. A few plans increase their maximum benefit across a few years. The average maximum benefit amount for the plans examined was $1,781.67 (the average only used the first year maximum benefit for the plans that increased their maximum benefit across several years.
The two plans without caps on a company’s contribution toward dental costs was the Careington discount savings program (500 Series) and the Humana HMO plan Dental Value Plan HI215.
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Are All Dental Plans in Tennessee Insurance?
No. Alongside traditional dental insurance plans are two other categories of dental coverage: indemnity plans and dental discount programs. A dental indemnity plan pays a set rate for a covered dental service. Typically the insurer determines this amount by establishing a “customary and usual” rate. However, this amount may not be the same as what your dentist charges and this may create additional out of pocket expenses. To be fair, traditional dental insurance also has its out-of-pocket costs in the form of copayments and co-insurance fees. The advantage of indemnity plans is that they are generally not restricted to a particular dentist network and you can choose the dental professional you prefer.
The second type of dental coverage available in Tennessee that is not insurance is a dental discount program (or “discount dental plan”). In a dental discount program, an enrollee pays a monthly fee for access to a network of dentists who charge reduced rates for dental services. There are not limits on how often you use the services. Additionally, unlike dental PPO and dental indemnity plans, a dental discount program does not have a maximum benefit (see previous section on explanation of the term). The discounts received through a discount dental plan can be used without limit.
Comparing TN Dental Plan Prices & Features
Now that you’re educated on the Tennessee dental insurance market, compare the value behind the rate quotes you receive for dental insurance. The following link will get Tennessee dental insurance quotes for plans available in your zip code.
Oral health resources for Tennessee Residents
We've pulled together information to help you find resources in your state to help you maintain your oral health.
The TDA represents over 2,400 dentists belonging to the organization and working in the State of Tennessee. The organization promotes excellence within the dental profession through an emphasis on ethics, diversity, leadership, mentorship, advocacy, and educational efforts that advance the cause of oral health among Tennessee residents.
Tennessee's public health dental clinics deliver dental care to populations within the state who would otherwise fail to receive care. Dental care is offered to Tennessee children under the age of 21 who are enrolled in TennCare as well as children who lack health and dental insurance. Alongside pediatric dental care, Tennessee's public health dental clinics provide uninsured adults with limited dental care.
Teeth Wisdom provides a webpage aggregating various dental health resources for residents of Tennessee.
Duck River Dental is a joint ministry dental care providing dental care to those in need (200% poverty level and below). The ministry serves Columbia, Tennessee as well as the surrounding community.