Dental insurance frequently asked questions

What is dental insurance?

Dental insurance pays a portion of costs associated with preventive, minor, and some major dental care.

Ready to compare dental plans and prices?

Golden Rule Insurance Company has a variety of dental plans, for almost any budget or situation.

How does dental insurance work? What do I pay for?

Similar to health insurance plans, with a dental plan…

You pay a monthly amount—this is your premium.

You pay for a certain amount out-of-pocket for services covered by your plan before your insurance starts paying—this is your deductible.

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After you meet your deductible, you are responsible for a percentage of covered expenses—this is your coinsurance. Most Golden Rule Insurance Company dental plans feature either a 20% or 30% coinsurance.

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Under some dental plans, you might pay a fixed cost for certain services, like X-rays—this is called a copay.

How much will dental plans cover? Are there limits to what they’ll pay?

Yes. Most dental insurance plans have a maximum benefit for the year. For dental plans underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, there is an annual maximum from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on your plan.1

Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cover dental?

No, the ACA, also known as Obamacare, does not cover dental coverage for adults. You will not face a tax penalty for not having dental insurance. However, the Affordable Care Act does mandate that dental insurance be made available to you if you have children, though you aren’t required to buy coverage for yourself as an adult.

Can I buy dental insurance without having health insurance?

Yes. It is standalone coverage. You do not need a major medical plan to purchase a dental plan.

What do most dental insurance plans cover?

Dental plans include coverage for preventive care like routine exams, cleanings, and X-rays. Some plans require a copay for preventive services while others cover those services 100% with no copay. It depends on the plan you choose, but preventive services are usually covered. Many dental plans also include coverage for basic services like fillings and extractions, and major services like root canals, crowns and more.

Is there a waiting period for dental insurance once I’m covered?

It depends. There is no waiting period on preventive services once you become covered, meaning as soon as you purchase the dental insurance you would be able to use the preventive care benefits. While some plans have no waiting periods, on other plans basic and major services may have waiting periods ranging from 4 to 12 months.

What is the difference between in-network and out-of-network care?

Cost. In-network dentists agree to accept a lower negotiated rate on services, meaning you pay less before your insurance carrier even gets involved. Non-network dentists can bill a patient for any remaining amount up to the billed charge.

Finally, when you stay in-network, you usually do not have to submit claims yourself. The dental office will handle the paperwork, saving you the cost of your time.

It’s a good idea to check on the number of dentists near you who are in-network before you buy a dental plan. If you already have a dentist, be sure to confirm if he or she is in-network. By choosing an in-network provider, you are making dental care more affordable for yourself.

Are there special plans or dental insurance for seniors?

Many dental plans have no age limit for coverage, so customers of any age can enroll in coverage. However, there are plans available specifically geared towards customers around Medicare age that may offer more age-relevant benefits. In many states, plans are available for customers age 64 and older that include coverage for hearing aids and exams.


  1. Plan availability varies by state.

No individual applying for health coverage through the individual Marketplace will be discouraged from applying for benefits, turned down for coverage, or charged more premium because of health status, medical condition, mental illness claims experience, medical history, genetic information or health disability. In addition, no individual will be denied coverage based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, political affiliation or source of income.

References to UnitedHealthcare pertain to each individual company or other UnitedHealthcare affiliated companies.

Each company is a separate entity and is not responsible for another's financial or contractual obligations.

Administrative services are provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

Products and services offered are underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, Health Plan of Nevada, Inc., Oxford Health Insurance, Inc., UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of New York, Inc.

This policy is subject to various exclusions and limitations. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call (or write) your insurance agent or the company (whichever is applicable).