YOU ASK:

Can I buy dental insurance that I can use immediately?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, the good news is that there are dental insurance plans that do not have a waiting period.

What is a waiting period and when does it apply?

A waiting period is a time you will have to wait out before the coverage will start to kick in. This is usually counted from the time the policy becomes effective. The waiting period serves to protect insurance providers from individuals who buy insurance plans because they already know that they need to avail of dental treatments sometime in the near future.

The waiting period usually applies for major dental procedures and can be as long as 6 months to one year.

Some preventive procedures may not be covered under the waiting period clause. Some insurance provides allow customers to immediately avail of treatments such as cleaning, oral examinations and for children, space maintainers and topical fluoride treatment.

Procedures that usually fall under the waiting period would be restorative services such as complex dental procedures, oral surgery with anesthesia (including tooth extractions), bridges (if these are covered) as well as emergency treatment.

Dental Insurance Plans with No Waiting Period

There are some plans that have done away with the waiting period so that you can immediately use your dental insurance when you visit the dentist. In fact, most employer-sponsored dental plans can be used immediately, without you having to finish a specified waiting period. Check with your employer's Human Resources department to see whether you can avail of dental treatments immediately.

Of course, dental insurance plans that have no waiting period will be considerably more expensive than plans that have a waiting period. To see if there are dental insurance plans that have no waiting periods offered in your state, it is best to ask around and inquire from the major insurance providers in your area.

Another option you can consider would be to get a dental discount plan. Of course, this is really not a dental insurance plan. It is actually a plan that enables you to avail of services at a discount from accredited dentists. You will have to pay for the services, but at a lower rate. These plans may be used almost immediately. You only need to wait for one to three business days and then you can start.

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