What is Dental Insurance and Why You Should Use It?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you’d think. Dental insurance is a complicated business and even if you have dental insurance it may not necessarily provide cover for your needs. Here’s a look at some of the instances where you may need dental insurance:
Does your own country have Universal Health Coverage?
Some countries, including the United States, do not have universal health coverage. This means residents are expected to purchase their own insurance cover for their medical and dental needs, unlike in the UK, Australia or New Zealand where general taxation funds a public health service that the whole population can access. If you don’t live in a country with a public health service, then you will need to get dental insurance that will cover you in the event of a dental problem arising.
What about if you are going on holiday? Does your travel insurance cover you for emergency dental?
This is something that not many of us think about, but you should check the small print on your travel insurance documents. Dental emergencies can happen at any time, from a broken filling or crown, or an infection or trauma causing teeth to be loosened, broken or knocked-out. It is vital that you are covered for both your medical and dental needs and it is worthwhile checking with your insurer to clarify because emergency dental care could prove expensive.
Medical Travel Insurance
This is different from travel insurance, in that medical travel insurance is for people who are specifically traveling overseas to receive medical care, rather than going on holiday. They are known as medical tourists and dental tourism is part of this umbrella term.
Although dental tourism is on the increase throughout the world, it is particularly popular for Americans and Canadians who think nothing of traveling south to experience Mexican dental care which is considerably less expensive than the costs at home.
You may find standard travel insurance policies do not usually provide cover for dental treatment abroad if it was pre-planned, and your claim could be refused if the basis of your trip was to receive dental treatment. If you are going overseas specifically for medical treatment, then make sure you get medical travel insurance.
Medical Complications Insurance
This type of insurance is aimed at the medical travel market too. One of the problems that critics of medical travel point out is what happens if something goes wrong after you’ve returned from your Thailand dental holiday?
Unfortunately, no medical and dental procedure can ever be guaranteed completely, wherever and by whomever you have the treatment. We are all individuals and our bodies are too. Sometimes, things can go wrong and whether it is a minor thing, or something worse, if you’ve already traveled back home it does leave you in a bit of a predicament.
While many overseas dentists will fix any problems free-of-charge, that doesn’t extend to paying for air-fares and accommodation costs, which can end up being a substantial amount if you’ve got to travel halfway across the world.
This is why medical complications insurance is worth taking out. We know that most dental tourists travel overseas to save money, but for an additional small premium this is one thing that really isn’t worth skimping on.
Insurance is all about giving yourself peace of mind and preparing for the unexpected. Like the outcomes of medical and dental treatments, we can’t always predict exactly what will happen, but we can make sure we have the right insurance to soften the financial blow.