Do I Need Dental Insurance?

teeth 164144314As an international student in the US, you know that you need health insurance for the duration of your stay. However, did you know that your health insurance likely doesn’t cover dental health? This doesn’t mean that dental care isn’t expensive; a crown may cost $1,500, and a root canal may cost you between $300 and $1,000. Dentists certainly aren’t cheap, which is why dental insurance may be a good choice for you.

How Dental Coverage Works

With health insurance, you pay your deductible as well as a significantly smaller portion of the rest of the bill. Dental coverage is exactly the opposite; you receive a certain amount of coverage, and after that you’re on your own to pay the balance of the bill. Once you hit your yearly maximum, you have to either wait until next year for more work or pay the expenses from your own wallet.

The Cost

If you do not have the option of dental insurance through an employer, you will have to pay for your own coverage. This will likely cost between $12 and $50 per person per month. Other plans, while they may not be insurance, allow you to pay a yearly fee that qualifies you for discounted rates at member dentists. These plans generally cost between $75 and $100 per person per year. According to The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, each plan comes out to about the same out-of-pocket costs once all dental bills are paid. As with any product, shopping around for the best rate and terms may be time consuming, but may result in significant cost savings over time.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, your teeth can get expensive. For this reason, dental insurance might be the best idea for you and your family. Check online for the best rates and call and speak to each of the providers. Ask to see the policy before enrolling and make sure that your dental benefits provider will cover your trips to your dentist.

Want to learn more? Check out our Dental Discount Plans.

Posted by Jennifer Frankel

Jennifer is the International Director at International Student Insurance. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Florida where she holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has lived and worked abroad in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and England, and traveled extensively in South America, Europe and Asia.

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