By Jenifer Dorsey
At dentalinsurance.org, we talk lot about how to select an affordable individual dental plan with a monthly premium and benefits that are right for you and your family. But where do you physically look for coverage, and what information do you need to provide when applying for it?
Where to find individual and family dental insurance plans
If you do not have access to a group dental plan through your employer, there are many places to shop for dental coverage, including:
- Your state’s health insurance exchange—please note: individual dental plans are not available on all state exchanges
- Websites such as dentalinsurance.org, ehealthinsurance.com and healthpocket.com—these sites offer multiple plan types from various companies/carriers
- Directly from an insurance company—see if your major medical plan’s carrier also sells dental coverage
- From an insurance agent—if you already work with an agent, contact him or her about your dental options; if not, you can find one through your state’s exchange website, the National Association of Health Underwriters and through referrals from family, friends and coworkers
What you need to apply for dental insurance
Applying for dental insurance literally takes a few minutes. Whether you do so using a website or paper application, you will typically need to be prepared with the following information:
- Name, date of birth and Social Security number for each applicant
- Phone number
- Payment information
You may need to answer additional questions, including whether or not you currently have dental coverage.
When obtaining a free quote at dentalinsurance.org, you only need to provide the ZIP code, gender and birth date for each applicant. Once you select a plan and decide to apply and enroll, you will provide more personal information. However, some sites may request contact information at the time of your quote—payment information should not be requested until you apply and enroll.
On a final note: Be sure you understand the difference between a dental discount plan and a dental insurance plan. Determine which is right for you, and pay attention to what product you are about to buy to avoid any surprises once you’ve enrolled.
Jenifer Dorsey is a freelance writer whose specialties include health insurance, health and wellness, fitness and recreation. She is a competitive amateur track cyclist who also enjoys mountain biking, hiking and other outdoor adventures. Jenifer received a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and is an MFA candidate at Naropa University. She lives in Colorado.