How familiar are you with your health benefits policy, particularly about your dental coverage? Dental insurance covers a portion of costs for dental procedures. It is generally not a part of a standard health insurance cover, and even when it is, the benefits provided need a closer look. Here’s what you can expect out of a dental insurance plan.
What are the procedures covered under dental insurance?
Dental insurance typically covers dental procedures reckoned necessary by a medical professional. The insurance will not cover cosmetic dentistry of any kind, be it dental corrections or dental implants.
For the purposes of insurance, dental procedures are classified under two categories: preventive or diagnostic. A few procedures that are generally covered under dental insurance include: tooth extractions, cavity filling, root canal procedures, scaling, gum cleaning, etc. Apart from these routine dental needs, dental insurance plans can sometimes include annual or half yearly dental cleaning or check-ups.
What do dental insurance plans offer?
None of the major insurance companies in India offer dental insurance as an exclusive cover, with just a few providers who cover dental at all. In most instances, dental treatments are covered in case of accidents or cancer treatments that require hospitalization; in which case, they would be limited to repairing damages.
Dental treatments that include cosmetic surgery, dentures, dental implants, dental prosthesis, orthognathic surgery, orthodontics, jaw alignment or treatment for the jaw (temporomandibular) joint, upper and lower jaw bone surgery, and any minor surgery related to the jaw is usually not covered.
Depending on the insurance plan, insurers also cover dental treatment as part of OPD (Outpatient Department) services that require payment of an additional premium, which is often very high. There are also several limiting factors or terms appended to the policy, which need a closer look before signing up.
While there are some inroads being made towards providing dental insurance, comprehensive dental coverage is yet to be streamlined and made available widely in India today.