Maintaining good dental health and hygiene requires regular check-ups and professional care. Unfortunately, college students live on notoriously tight budgets, making expenses like dental insurance difficult. If you’re a college student living on a tight budget, it might seem impossible to pay for dental insurance right now.
However, paying for dental insurance now can help lower expenses for dental care and procedures in the future.
Why Should I Get Dental Insurance As A College Student?
Why should I get dental insurance as a student? It’s simple—take care of your teeth now and your teeth will thank you in the future.
As a young adult, you might not have many dental issues that need immediate care. It can be tempting to think that dental insurance really isn’t a necessity.
However, it just takes one chipped tooth, one unexpected cavity or similar procedure to make you realize how important dental insurance really is.
Paying for dental procedures out of pocket can be incredibly expensive. It’s better to be proactive and pay a little for dental insurance now than wait and pay for a lot in the future.
What Are My Dental Insurance Options?
If you’re a college student looking for affordable dental insurance, there are a variety of options for you.
Stay on your parent’s plan—Just like health insurance, it’s possible to stay on your parent’s dental insurance plan until you’re 26. If you still have this option, it’s definitely a good idea to stay on your parents’ plan for as long as possible.
See what your university offers—If it’s not possible to stay on your parents’ dental insurance plan, check out your college or university’s offerings. Most schools offer insurance for their students, designed to fit a student budget. These are often the best and most affordable options for health care while attending college.
One note: Not all colleges offer dental insurance. So, check with your university to see what they offer.
Medicaid—Depending on your and your family’s income, you might qualify for Medicaid. This is certainly one way to pay for healthcare expenses as a college student. However, the number of dentists who accept Medicaid patients is limited. Again, you’ll need to do your research and see what you qualify for and if any dentists in your area accept Medicaid.
Purchase dental insurance through the Marketplace—Of course, one option is to purchase dental insurance through the ACA marketplaces. You can typically find health insurance plans for any type of budget. However, since dental insurance is not legally required, it can be a bit difficult to find a standalone dental insurance plan through the Marketplace.
Purchase private dental insurance—You can also purchase a private dental insurance plan. Basic dental insurance plans cover standard dental procedures, including examinations, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, root canals, and preventative care like sealants. More comprehensive plans will cover more detailed procedures such as crowns, bridges, or implants.
The one problem with purchasing a private dental plan as a college student is that these plans can be fairly expensive.
The average cost for an individual dental plan is about 25-30 dollars per month.
Depending on your resources, you may want to explore other options before purchasing a private dental plan.
Keep in mind, while this may seem like a lot to pay per month as a student, it’s still a significantly lower number than paying for a massive dental procedure out of pocket.
What If I Can’t Afford Any Plan?
If there is absolutely no way you can afford dental insurance, there are a few extra options you could consider.
The Quality Dental Plan—Under this program, participating dentists charge an annual fee in exchange for preventive dental and routine work. If your options are limited, see if you qualify for this plan.
Free Dental Clinics—Finally, one last option to consider is visiting a free dental clinic. These clinics offer free or reduced dental care, usually done by dental students from dental schools.
Again, these options are more like last resorts, so try exploring the dental insurance options available to students before looking into alternative measures.
Get Help Finding The Perfect Plan
If you’re a college student looking for advice on dental insurance, contact insurance agent Michael Suhany. He can answer any questions you may have and help you find the perfect insurance plan that fits your student budget. Contact him today.