Dental Insurance

Finding Low-Cost Dental Insurance for Your Family as a Self-Employed Individual

Updated on December 06, 2019


Are you a self-employed individual looking for low-cost dental insurance for your family? In addition to different prices for family plans, there are a few details to pay attention to when insuring people besides yourself. Understanding the ins and outs of family dental insurance can also help you find the best low-cost dental insurance for your family.

Dental insurance for children

If you have children, it’s important to know that under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies are required to offer an option to purchase dental insurance. Alternately, you may opt to buy your family dental plan separately from your health insurance plan. Although health insurance companies must make dental insurance available for children, you are not required to buy it for your children (or anyone else).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does emphasize that regular dental visits are important to prevent tooth decay in children, and instill good oral health from an early age.

Much like when you apply for individual dental insurance, the right plan for your family depends on your family’s personal needs. If your children tend to have troubles with maintaining their oral health, you may want to spend the money it takes to give your child dental insurance. And even if your children do maintain good oral health, bringing them to the dentist for checkups as the AAP suggests encourages and instills those healthy practices.

What dental services will low-cost dental insurance cover?

It all depends on the details of your plan, and there is a huge variety of options for you to explore on

Most low-cost dental insurance plans cover basic treatments such as checkups, X-rays, and cleanings. Oftentimes, these can be covered 100%, or with a modest copayment, depending on your plan. Most plans will cover you for a regular dental checkup every six months.

Some more costly procedures might be partially covered by your family dental insurance plan. Some examples of these treatments are:

  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Periodontics
  • Dentures
  • Tooth bonding

Again, it all depends on your plan and the area you live in, so researching what different plans cover will be important to finding what’s best for your family. Dental plans often provide “100-80-50” coverage, which usually mean the plan covers 100% of routine care such as checkups, cleanings, and x-rays, and then for more complicated procedures insurance will range from covering 80% to 50%. This means that your coinsurance amount might range from 20% to 50% for some services. In most cases, this excludes cosmetic procedures, which often must be fully paid out of pocket. Families with children may want to consider insurance plans that offer some level of coverage for orthodontia. Most plans will only offer limited orthodontia coverage, but your choices may vary depending on where you live and how much you are willing to pay each month.

If you are looking for low-cost dental insurance for your family, consider if you are fine with just having basic treatments covered; this could bring down the cost of your premium considerably.

Every dental plan is different, so any individual plan you select may or may not cover any of the benefits listed above as examples.  Be sure to read the official plan documents for any plan you choose so that you understand the specific benefits provided by that plan.

Tax incentives for buying low-cost dental insurance

To help lower the cost of your dental insurance, there are some tax credits that might be available to you as a self-employed individual.

Dental insurance is typically considered a medical expense, which means it may be tax-deductible. If you are self-employed, you may be able to claim a deduction for your dental insurance payments. As a self-employed individual providing for your family, you may have an even higher cost to deduct.

Talk with your accountant or tax professional to learn more about dental insurance deductions.

Investing in your family’s health with low-cost dental insurance

Unlike health insurance, there is no penalty for not covering your family with low-cost dental insurance. This means that it is entirely up to you whether you buy dental insurance at all.

With that said, there may be a variety of plans you can choose from for yourself and your family that are low-cost, but still provide you with basic dental care. Dental plans can be tailored to the needs of your family members based on oral health, age, and preference.

This article is for general information and may not be updated after publication. Consult your own tax, accounting, or legal advisor instead of relying on this article as tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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