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Tennessee Dental Insurance Options

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A Shopper's Guide for TN Dental Plans

By Insurance Industry Expert & Author
Updated on

 

As a state with nearly seven million residents, Tennessee supports a robust dental insurance market 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 dental quotes for plans in your area.

What Does Dental Insurance in Tennessee Cover?

The range 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 covers a broad range of benefits, consider using the below list of dental services as a tool to evaluate a plan's breadth of coverage.

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. 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 30 plans in the state for a 22 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 Classic 2000 + VSP Premium. This plan included vision benefits alongside dental benefits and cost $92.49 a month.

The average premium among the 30 plans examined was $37.84. Most 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 $1,471 (the average only used the first year maximum benefit for the plans the increased the maximum benefit across several years.

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. An 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 progressional 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.

Oral health resources for Tennessee Residents

Tennessee Dental Association (TDA)

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.

Public Health Dental Clinics

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.

Tennessee Dental Resources

Teeth Wisdom provides a webpage aggregating various dental health resources for residents of Tennessee.

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Our best-selling plans in Tennessee

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Hollywood Smile Premier 2500

Use one of our 115,000 network providers to get the most from this plan. No waiting periods. Increasing benefits.

Plan type: PPO
Plan Maximum: $2500

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Advantage Achiever

Rich benefits with maximums increase each for year the first 3 years.

Plan type: PPO
Plan Maximum: $1000 – $1500

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Hollywood Smile Premier Plus 2000

100% preventive coverage on day one. $2000 plan maximum. No waiting periods.

Plan type: PPO
Plan Maximum: $2000

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