Your body does a good job of healing minor injuries like scrapes and bruises. but tooth damage is different. minor dental problems will not heal on their own. instead, if left untreated, they will always get worse over time. You’ll want to visit a dentist at the first sign of a dental problem, but dental insurance waiting periods can limit your treatment options.
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Here’s a more detailed look at Cigna Dental waiting periods, how they might affect treatment, and what other options you have to treat dental problems quickly:
how dental insurance coverage works
cigna offers three types of dental insurance.
cigna dental preventive is their most affordable plan. covers 100% of preventive care, which typically includes cleanings twice a year, x-rays, and a personal exam from your dentist. however, restore procedures are not covered.
His other two plans are Cigna Dental 1000 and Cigna Dental 1500. Both cover 100% of preventive care. they also provide $1,000 and $1,500, respectively, of restorative coverage. however, waiting periods and other limits may apply.
Which procedures have waiting periods?
Restorative coverage is basically any non-preventive, non-cosmetic dental procedure. Cigna (and other companies) often divide dental procedures into two categories: basic and major.
Basic procedures treat relatively common problems like cavities and gum disease. fillings, deep cleanings, and other simple procedures are generally considered basic procedures. the insurance covers 80% of the basic procedures.
the main procedures are more complicated. They include crowns, bridges, dentures, root canals and full mouth procedures. emergency repairs are also considered important procedures. major procedures are typically covered at 50%.
Please note that each insurance company uses its own criteria to determine if a procedure is major or basic. check with cigna for details of each plan.
what procedures have timeouts?
Generally, many basic procedures and most major procedures will have some type of waiting period. for fillings, deep cleanings, and other basic procedures, you’ll probably need to hold the policy for at least six months. for major procedures, the waiting period can be up to a year.
Insurance companies understand that dental problems are easier to treat when treatment begins quickly. So why set limits at all? unfortunately, waiting periods are necessary. Otherwise, people could make a single insurance payment, file a claim for hundreds or even thousands of dental work, and then cancel their policy before the second payment. dental insurance companies couldn’t stay in business.
Does dental insurance have any other restrictions?
Waiting periods aren’t the only potential problem with insurance. most policies also have restrictions on pre-existing conditions. if you had a dental problem that existed before you purchased the policy, you may be subject to a waiting period, or may not be covered at all. for example, treatments for missing teeth are almost never covered. That means no dentures, implants, or many other common tooth replacement procedures.
Also, most dental policies have annual limits. although the limits vary by plan and provider, they generally range from $1,000 to $1,500. if you only need preventive care, the annual limit probably won’t affect you. But even one or two routine procedures can maximize your coverage throughout the year, and once it’s gone, you’ll still have to pay monthly premiums or have a hard time renewing your policy the following year.
what alternatives are available to traditional dental insurance?
dental insurance is not for everyone. it usually makes the most sense for people without dental problems who just need preventive care. even a very basic policy will usually cover dental checkups, cleanings, and x-rays. Many people find that they spend less on dental insurance than they would pay out of pocket for preventive care.
But dental insurance is much less helpful if you have a problem that needs immediate treatment. at best, you will have to deal with waiting periods. At worst, the procedure you need may not be covered at all.
Dental discount plans, also known as dental savings plans, are another way to save. For around $10 to $12 a month, you can join a plan where you’ll be issued a special membership card. simply present the card at any of the more than 110,000 participating dentists nationwide for instant savings at the time of service.
Unlike dental insurance, Cigna discount plans have no annual limits, no waiting periods, and no pre-existing condition restrictions. Your discount card starts working approximately 72 hours after you make your first payment. In addition, there are plans available that not only cover you, but your entire family.
cigna dental insurance provides excellent coverage if you only need preventive care. But if you have existing dental problems that need treatment right away, a Cigna Dental Discount Plan is the fastest way to save.