Extended Dental Plans Explained
In Canada, extended dental health plans are typically not included as part of a regular extended health plan. The dental plan is designed to pay a portion of the costs associated with your dental care. That includes: preventative, diagnostic, radiographic, restorative, scaling, prosthetic repair, extractions, and sometimes orthodontic care.
Dental care plans typically cover a percentage of the total cost of a procedure (depending on the plan sometimes up to 100%), up to a maximum dollar amount per year, and a maximum number of times per person per year. Most plans will also have a maximum lifetime amount – especially for unusual costs (such as major surgeries or orthodontic care).
Usually, plans will fall under one of two types: group benefit plans, or individual plans. Group benefit plans are organized some sometimes funded (partially or entirely) by an employer. Group plans typically offer more types of coverage when compared to individual plans, and may include additional options for coverage. Employees can choose to opt out of the dental portion of the plan, but usually cannot choose to be included in the dental portion only. Some group plans will also include a rule that employees cannot be under more than one dental plan at a time.
Individual plans can be purchased as a bundle which includes health, drug, and dental; or dental plans can be purchased on their own. Often these individual plans will have a variety of options for level of care: from a basic level which includes services such a scaling, polishing, and preventative care – to an enhanced level which can include extractions, oral surgery, and orthodontics. Individual plans are often fairly flexible and can be changed to work both within a client’s budgets and their requirements.
All dental care plans are designed to coincide with the current provincial Dental Association Fee Guide, and as such it is typical that many of the plans remain fairly similar. It is important to look through the exact coverage amounts and details when looking to gain dental coverage to ensure it will fit best with your lifestyle and budget.