The high cost of dentistry and healthcare is nothing to smile about. If you’re employed, you probably rely on your employer to provide affordable health insurance and dental benefits. Dental coverage is a major attraction when it comes to benefits offered by employers.
But what if you are not employed by a company but self-employed instead? Is low-cost dental insurance available to self-employed people too? Yes, it is available to you, and we highly recommend it. But if you are unsure of what you’ll get, what you’ll pay, and how to go about it, don’t worry.
We explain everything you need to know in this guide to dental coverage for the self-employed.
What Is Self-Employed Dental Insurance?
Many Americans rely on their employers for health insurance and dental coverage. However, self-employed people can access the same benefits when they purchase individual plans.
They can sign up for ACA health plans with dental coverage included, or standalone dental plans, on the ACA marketplace. ACA health insurance does not, by law, have to offer dental coverage.
Self-employed dental insurance is dental insurance purchased by an individual, rather than accessed through an employer.
Whether through an employer or as a self-employed individual, your dental insurance will typically not cover or offer very limited coverage for cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, and dental implants.
Who Is Eligible For Self-Employed Dental Insurance?
Anyone who is self-employed is eligible for self-employed insurance. Unlike dental coverage offered by an employer, which is often part of a comprehensive group health plan, dental insurance for the self-employed is purchased as an individual plan.
Dental insurance is typically much cheaper than health insurance, and this is true of dental insurance for the self-employed, too. However, like health insurance plans, dental plans offered by different insurers can vary widely in price.
What Does Self-Employed Dental Insurance Cost?
When considering the average cost of dental insurance for the self-employed, it is important to distinguish between comprehensive stand-alone dental plans and those that only provide preventive care. There’s a big difference in the pricing of these two options.
They are both highly affordable. The more comprehensive type costs about $47 a month, on average. The preventive care one is especially budget-friendly, at about $26 a month, on average. But when you opt for the latter, you will not be covered for fillings, extractions, and root canals.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Self-Employed Dental Plan
When choosing a self-employed dental plan, here are the factors to consider before making your choice.
How Much Dental Care You Need
How much dental care do you need? Everyone has different dental needs. Your lifestyle and habits will strongly influence your need for dentistry. We’re not just talking about all the sweets you might have eaten as a child, either.
Excess sugar consumption has a big impact on the state of your teeth, it’s true. But other factors also play a role, like the acidity of the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. Smoking can also damage your teeth and gums. It can affect the health of your teeth and gums, putting you at risk of dental decay.
Preventive Services Covered
Does the dental plan you have your eye on include preventive services? If not, keep looking for one that does. Preventive oral healthcare can go a long way toward avoiding serious dental issues in the future. And that’s not the only reason you should look for preventive dental services and practice good oral care.
Indeed, there is a strong link between oral health and body health. Several studies have shown that poor oral health and untreated gum disease or dental decay can lead to far more serious health issues down the line.
If you already take good care of your teeth and go to the dentist for regular check-ups, you’ll no doubt have a preferred dentist. Switching to another dentist can be a frightening prospect, yet it may be necessary, depending on the type of dental plan you get.
If you are restricted to a dental network, your preferred dentist might not be in that network. This doesn’t mean that you won’t find a good dentist in your plan’s network. However, you may be more comfortable sticking to the provider that you are familiar with.
Interest In Cosmetic Procedures
Your interest in cosmetic dentistry is yet another factor to consider. Many dental plans don’t cover procedures like teeth whitening, dental veneers, and other cosmetic treatments. Although they make a big difference to your smile, they are not considered necessary for oral health.
If you have stained or misshapen teeth, dental veneers can do wonders for your appearance and your confidence. Remember, if it’s important to you, it’s important! So do the research and find a dental plan that will get you closer to your dream of a brilliant white smile.
Types Of Self Employed Dental Insurance
Dental insurance plans are not all the same. There are different types, and the one you choose must meet your unique needs.
Dental Insurance With Your Health Insurance Plan
If you want to pay one premium and enjoy both health and dental insurance, get yourself a health plan that includes dental coverage.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), children enjoy dental coverage as an essential benefit. This is required by law for all children up to the age of 19. However, adult dental coverage is not. You may find a health plan with dental coverage included, but no insurer is required to do so.
Stand-Alone Dental Insurance Plans
A stand-alone dental plan is the answer when your health plan doesn’t include dental coverage. As with health insurance, the degree of coverage you enjoy and the benefits offered may differ slightly from one plan to the next.
But there’s another thing to consider when purchasing dental insurance. You can choose between a dental plan with a Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO) or a Dental Health Maintenance Organization.
Preventive oral care services like teeth cleanings, oral exams, and dental X-rays are usually fully covered by DHMO and DPPO plans. However, how these dental insurance plans operate differs. Be sure you understand this before selecting a dental insurance plan of your own.
On a DPPO plan, you can choose to see a specialist for more advanced dentistry without a referral from your primary dentist. This means that if you require advanced dental procedures or treatments, you can schedule appointments with specialists, such as orthodontists or oral surgeons, without any additional steps.
Although there is a preferred network of providers, you can see your usual dentist even if they are not on the network. Be aware, however, that your co-sharing costs will be higher if you do so.
On a DHMO plan, you must choose a primary dentist at the outset. If you need more advanced dentistry, they will refer you to a specialist in the plan’s dental provider network. DHMO plans typically cover dental services at a lower cost, with minimal or even no copayments.
Is Dental Insurance Worthwhile For Self-Employed People?
Yes, it is. Dental insurance is always worthwhile if you care about your oral health and the state of your teeth. Practicing oral care and getting preventive dental care are part of living a healthy lifestyle. Looking after your oral health will affect your overall health in the long term.
If you are particularly susceptible to oral health issues and have a history of dental problems, dental coverage is a must. It will save you a lot of money over time because out-of-pocket dentistry procedures can be quite expensive.
Is Dental Insurance Tax Deductible?
We have some good news for you. When you purchase dental insurance as a self-employed person, you can claim your dental plan premiums back. The IRS allows freelancers to deduct 100% of their health insurance premiums, as well as premiums for dental insurance plans.
This not only applies to you as a self-employed person but also to your spouse, children and other dependents you are responsible for. As a sole proprietor, you can deduct the amounts in the ‘Adjustments to Income’ section on Schedule 1 of Form 1040.
How To Get Dental Insurance If You’re Self-Employed
As a self-employed person, you can find dental insurance plans on the ACA marketplace or the private dental insurance market. You may also use a broker or insurance advisor like Enhance Health to help you find the right dental plan for your needs.
Oral health is about more than a beautiful smile. Research shows that preventive oral care is good for all-round health. But going to the dentist is expensive when you pay out-of-pocket. You need dental insurance. And if you’re self-employed, you need low-cost dental insurance for the self-employed.
At Enhance Health, we make it easy to find low-cost dental insurance when you’re self-employed. Our consultants are standing by to help you find the dental plan that fits your budget and your unique oral care needs. Contact us today, and we’ll help you find your way to good health and a bright, beautiful smile.