When choosing dental insurance, the provider backing the plan makes a big difference. Even if you’re not familiar with dental insurance, you’ve probably heard of Cigna and Aetna, two of the largest insurance companies.
If you’re looking for dental insurance, both Cigna and Aetna are great places to start. Here’s a closer look at what dental insurance plans they offer, how the two companies are different, and what’s the best way you can save on dental care:
What Dental Plans Do Cigna and Aetna Offer?
Both Cigna and Aetna offer a variety of dental insurance plans.
Cigna Dental Insurance Plans
Over 15 million people own a Cigna dental insurance policy. Cigna offers three dental plans:
The Cigna Dental 1500 offers the highest level of coverage. For $35 a month, you have a $50 deductible with an annual limit on restorative care of $1,500. Additionally, you get a $1,000 lifetime limit on orthodontic care.
Their next plan is the Cigna Dental 1000. The monthly premium drops to $30, while the deductible remains the same. However, the annual limit decreases to $1,000 and there is no coverage for orthodontics.
Finally, they offer the Cigna Dental Preventative Plan. It’s just $19 a month and has no deductible. However, only preventative care is covered. The plan provides no coverage for restorative dental procedures.
Aetna Dental Plans
Aetna offers four dental insurance plans:
Network Only Plans, also called DMOs, are a budget-friendly way to access reliable services. However, you’re restricted to a relatively small network of dentists.
Their Network Options Plans offer more flexibility. You can visit any licensed dentist and the policy will provide some level of coverage. However, coverage is increased if you visit an in-network dentist.
Dental Indemnity Plans allow you to visit any dentist you choose. However, premiums and deductibles are typically higher than the other plans.
Finally, they offer Hybrid Plans. These plans combine characteristics from the other plan types. Although the customization is a great benefit, plans costs can vary significantly.
How Do I Compare Cigna and Aetna Insurance Plans?
As you can see, both Cigna and Aetna offer a wide variety of dental insurance. Sorting through all the different options can be confusing. Focus on a few key areas:
- Premiums – How much will you pay the insurance company each month?
- Deductible – How much do you have to pay out-of-pocket before insurance coverage begins?
- Annual Limit – How much total coverage does the policy provide each year?
Dental insurance is often ideal for someone with no existing dental problems who only needs preventative care. You’ll likely pay less in monthly premiums than the value of twice-a-year checkups you’ll receive in return.
However, if you need more than prevention services, dental insurance can sometimes fall short. When searching for dental insurance, it’s important to also consider a plan’s restrictions.
What Restrictions Does Dental Insurance Have?
Dental insurance isn’t as comprehensive as many people think. Insurance companies typically place limits on dental problems you had before purchasing the policy.
Certain procedures are excluded entirely. For example, many policies include a “missing tooth clause,” which prohibits most treatments for a pre-existing missing tooth. Coverage for other pre-existing dental conditions might also be limited depending on the specifics of the policy.
Additionally, dental insurance policies often impose wait limits for new policyholders. You might have to wait six months or more before coverage begins for many common procedures such as fillings, deep cleanings and implants. Unfortunately, because dental problems grow over time, any treatment delay can result in additional dental damage.
What is a Dental Savings Plan?
Dental insurance doesn’t always provide the treatment you need – and insurance companies understand this. That’s why both Cigna and Aetna offer another way to save on dental care. Called dental savings plans, they’re often described as the affordable alternative to dental insurance.
Dental savings plans offer members instant discounts on a wide range of procedures. The exact discounts depend on the type of plan you choose, and the specific procedure performed, but they range from 15% to 50%.
Savings plans are far more flexible than most insurance policies. With a savings plan, you’re not bound by annual limits. You can use the discounts as often as you like during the entire year.
Plus, savings plans cover a wide range of pre-existing conditions. Are you missing a tooth? Savings plans cover implants, dentures and other procedures which most insurance policies won’t. Because savings plans activate just a few days after you sign up, you can get the care you need right away, even for conditions you’ve had for months or years.
Dental insurance isn’t the only way to save on dental care. Dental savings plans offer increased flexibility and coverage. Plus, they’re backed by the trusted reputation of major insurers like Cigna and Aetna.