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Employee BenefitsGroup Health BenefitsDental Insurance in Canada

Dental Insurance in Canada

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Dental insurance helps Canadians pay for preventive, basic, and major dental care. With rising dental costs, getting coverage is important for maintaining good oral health. This guide provides an in-depth look at how dental insurance works in Canada, what it covers, and how to choose the right plan.

How Does Dental Insurance in Canada Work?

Dental insurance for Canadians - types of plans, average costs, covered services, choosing coverage, discounts without insurance.
Types of dental insurance in Canada, monthly premium estimates, covered services, tips for choosing a plan that fits your budget.

There are two main types of dental insurance plans in Canada:

Group Insurance Plans

Employers offer these as part of employee benefit packages. The employer contracts with an insurance provider and pays all or a portion of the monthly premiums. Employees are automatically enrolled but can opt out if they wish. Group plans have open enrollment periods, usually once per year.

Individual and Family Plans

You purchase these directly from a dental insurance provider. You pay the total monthly premiums yourself. Individual plans often have waiting periods for major services, and you must answer health questions to qualify.

Both group and individual plans help pay for dental expenses like cleanings, fillings, crowns, braces, and dentures. You pay a monthly premium, and the insurance covers a percentage of your costs, known as coinsurance.

Here’s an overview of how dental insurance works:

  • You pay a monthly premium to the insurance provider
  • When you visit the dentist, you pay your portion of the bill, and the insurance covers the rest
  • Most plans have an annual maximum they will pay per person, such as $1,500
  • Many have deductibles requiring you to pay the first $50-$100 per year
  • Reimbursement is based on your plan’s fee guide, not what dentists charge

What Does Dental Insurance Cover in Canada?

how Canadian dental insurance works
preventive to major services covered, monthly costs, choosing group vs individual plans, tips for saving.

Dental plans cover services in 3 main categories:

Preventive Care

This includes regular dental exams, cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride treatments to maintain good oral health. Most plans cover 100% of preventive services.

Basic Restorative Care

This involves fillings, tooth extractions, root canals, and periodontal treatment. Insurance covers 50-80% of primary care.

Major Restorative Care

This includes crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, and braces. Coverage for significant work is lower, often only 50%.

Many dental plans also cover a portion of orthodontics for children under 18 or 19. Some cover adults, too.

Cosmetic services like teeth whitening and veneers are generally not covered. Most plans reimburse based on your province’s fee guide for general dentistry.

Read more : Group health benefits in Canada

How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost in Canada?

The cost of dental insurance varies based on factors like:

  • Type of plan – Individual/family plans cost more than group plans.
  • Coverage level – Plans with higher annual maximums and coinsurance rates cost more.
  • Deductible – Lower deductibles lead to higher premiums. $50 deductibles keep premiums lower.
  • Number of people covered – Costs increase as you add dependents.
  • Age – Premiums are based on age categories, with middle-aged adults paying the most.
  • Province – Rates differ across Canada based on provincial fee guides and taxes.

Here are some sample monthly costs for dental insurance in Canada:

  • Individual basic plan (80% coinsurance, $1,500 maximum, $50 deductible):
    • One adult: $38-$75 per month
    • Family of four: $125-$220 per month
  • Group plan (100% preventive/80% basic restorative/50% major restorative, $2,000 maximum, no deductible):
    • Single: $40-$60 per month
    • Family: $110-$170 per month

Annual increases are standard as the cost of dentistry rises.

Do Dental Implants and Braces Cost Extra?

Since implants and braces are classified as primary restorative treatments, they usually cost extra:

  • Dental implants – Expect to pay $3,500-$5,000 or more per implant out of pocket. Insurance reimburses about 50%.
  • Braces range from $5,000-$8,000 for children and $7,000-$10,000 for adults. Orthodontic coverage limits from plans help offset some costs.

Getting pre-approval for these big-ticket treatments can confirm how much insurance will cover.

Is There Coverage Without Insurance?

You have options if you can’t afford traditional dental insurance:

  • Dental savings plans – These discount plans let you access the preferred rates within a dental provider network. The cost is $100-$400 per year.
  • Public health dentistry – Provincial health departments offer limited, no-cost, or low-cost dental care. There are often long waits.
  • Dental schools – Students provide reduced-cost care under faculty supervision. Quality is good, but appointments are limited.
  • Free dental days – Local clinics are held annually in some areas, providing primary care to the uninsured.
  • Pay cash – Negotiating a cash discount directly with your dentist can reduce costs by 10-40%.

How to Pick the Best Dental Insurance Plan

Choosing the right dental coverage involves understanding your needs and priorities. Consider these factors when comparing plans:

  • Do you want insurance just for significant work or more comprehensive coverage?
  • What annual maximum fits your likely dental costs? $1,000 or $1,500 meets most needs.
  • Does a higher coinsurance rate for restorative care matter to you? This reduces your out-of-pocket costs.
  • Is orthodontic coverage for braces essential? Seek $2,000-$3,000 limits if so.
  • Does the plan allow you to see the dentist of your choice? Look for open networks.
  • Read online reviews of insurance provider’s reputations for customer service when claims arise.
  • Check if the plan covers extraction and replacement of natural healthy teeth.

Getting the right dental insurance ensures you can affordably care for your oral health. Evaluate both group and individual plan options to find the best fit.

If you need help choosing a dental insurance plan or have additional questions, contact our team of insurance experts. We’ll provide customized guidance so you can select the optimal coverage. Get in touch today to start the conversation.

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