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Wading Through a Sea of Individual Dental Insurance Plans? Use This Checklist to Make a Decision

Looking for individual dental insurance plans doesn't have to be hard. Instead of being overwhelmed by all of the possibilities, use all of the competition out there to your advantage.

If you've found yourself wading through a sea of individual dental insurance plans, use this checklist to anchor yourself:

1. Set a monthly budget, and stick to it

There are individual dental insurance plans in every possible shape and size - meaning that you don't have to compromise your budget in order to get coverage. If you're looking for dental insurance in California - where the cost of living is high - you may not have a ton of money to spend on dental insurance. Don't worry, though. If you know that you can only afford $10 each month, that's fine; you'll be able to get a policy at that price.

It may take a little extra searching on your part, but you'll be able to find exactly what you need. Don't let an agent or a website convince you that you have to spend more to get more.

2. Make sure you're not overlooking anything

Dental plans come with a lot of different choices. Just because one comes with emergency coverage or orthodontic coverage doesn't mean that they all do. You'll need to read the fine print carefully to see if anything is excluded.

And, before you sign on the dotted line, take some time to make sure that your plan covers everything you need it to. For example, if you might need your wisdom teeth pulled down the line, you need to make sure that you have some kind of oral surgery coverage.

3. See if you can save money by bundling your insurance coverage

Lots of companies will sell individual dental plans and vision plans as a package deal. After all, most health insurance plans leave out both, so there's a ton of people who need affordable dental and vision coverage.

If you can find dental policies that also come with vision plans, that's great for you. Here's why - insurance companies typically charge lower monthly premiums to people who buy more than one policy. Consider it to be like getting a "bulk rate".

4. Make sure you're comfortable with your potential provider list

Remember, virtually all individual dental insurance plans are going to come with a list of dentists and specialists that you have to pick from. Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to make sure that you're OK with that list. For example, if you're getting dental insurance in California, you're going to need a lengthy provider list - simply because California has so many residents, and you want to make sure that you can actually get in to see a dentist when you need to.