Being in between jobs can be stressful. Here are 5 options for dental coverage to maintain your oral health during your transition
The uncertainty and challenges that come with being in between jobs are enough to worry anyone.
And losing your job-based health and dental coverage is like the cherry on top of the stress pie.
Especially in tough times like these, it’s important to know your options in case you have a lapse in coverage.
The quicker you can reinstate your coverage or find an affordable alternative, the quicker you can ensure your dental health is protected.
As your San Diego dentist, we’ve put together this list of 5 ways you can obtain dental coverage for you and your family during your unemployment transition period.
1. Dental Savings Plans
In the event that you lose your job-based dental insurance, dental savings plans are a simple and affordable alternative.
Having a dental savings plan is like being a part of a membership club for your teeth. Each month, you pay a set rate and get access to a nationwide network of dentists who offer discounted services to plan members.
Based on your needs, you can either select an individual or a family plan. From there, you can search for dentists near you that accept dental savings plans, specific treatments that you need, or focus on finding the plan that will save you the most money.
Depending on your plan, you could save anywhere from 10% to 60% on your dental treatments. And as opposed to dental insurance, there are no lengthy waiting periods with dental savings plans. Your benefits take effect within the first seventy-two hours of your purchase.
Whenever you go to a dentist in your network, you’ll pay them directly for any treatments you receive. And the best part?
There’s no limit to how much you can spend, so you can take advantage of the discounts as often as you like.
Dental savings plans are a great way to bridge the gap if you’re in between jobs or waiting for the benefits at your new job to kick in.
2. COBRA Coverage
COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and is a piece of legislation that was signed into law back in the 1980s.
COBRA requires companies that provide healthcare coverage to offer continued benefits to you and your family for a set amount of time after your job situation changes.
Under this law, you’ll be offered eighteen to thirty-six months of extended coverage after quitting your job, losing your job, dropping from full-time to part-time hours, or if you received coverage from your spouse’s employer.
Whatever your situation may be, your employer has a month to inform the insurance company whether or not you’re eligible for COBRA. Once notified, the insurance company has two weeks to give you information about how much the extended coverage premiums will cost and what they include.
The only downside to COBRA is that the premiums tend to be pricey. But if you or a loved one have a chronic illness or need dental coverage for an urgent oral health issue, it may still be worth it to you.
If you had good dental coverage at your previous job and can make it work financially, COBRA can help you stay on top of your dental health during your time between jobs.
3. Affordable Care Act (ACA) / Obamacare Coverage
If you’ve recently had a “qualifying life event,” you can apply for dental insurance through your state’s ACA marketplace or on healthcare.gov.
California residents can find affordable dental insurance options on the Covered California website.
But what exactly is a “qualifying life event?”
These events include losing your employer-based health and dental insurance, having a child, getting married, or going through a divorce.
If you find yourself in any one of these situations, you’ll qualify for a special enrollment period, giving you sixty days to apply for an ACA health and dental coverage plan, even outside of the annual open enrollment period.
In terms of price, ACA dental coverage will likely be one of the more reasonable options to get you through a stretch of unemployment.
4. Medi-Cal Dental Coverage
If you’re currently in between jobs and looking for a dentist in San Diego – or anywhere in California – we strongly recommend applying for Medi-Cal Dental.
This program provides affordable dental coverage solely to California residents who qualify.
Participating dental practices across California – like Dental Express – accept Medi-Cal Dental and provide access to a variety of treatments:
- Routine dental exams, x-rays, and cleanings
- Crowns (in some cases) and fillings
- Root canals
- Partial (in some cases) and full dentures
- Tooth extractions
- Emergency services
- And much more!
Another great thing about Medi-Cal Dental is that it works a great deal like dental insurance. Once you qualify, you’ll receive an identification card to bring with you to all your appointments, much like your insurance card.
What’s more, Medi-Cal Dental recipients often don’t even have to pay premiums, and when they do, it costs $39 a month at most!
To see if you qualify, you can head over to the Covered California website, send in your application by mail, or apply in person at your county’s social services office.
To learn more about Medi-Cal Dental and how to put your benefits to work at your San Diego dentist, check out our blog on Medi-Cal Dental here.
5. Affordable Financing Options
This option varies from office to office, but many dentists offer affordable medical financing for any uninsured or unemployed patients.
If, for some reason, you’re unable to find a budget-friendly solution using the items on this list, financing is a great way to get the treatments you need without breaking the bank.
Talk with your local San Diego dentist about low-interest medical financing today.
Top-Notch Dental Care That’s Kind to Your Budget
Losing your health and dental insurance coverage can be a mentally and emotionally draining experience.
But when it comes down to it, putting off visiting the dentist will only complicate your situation even further.
Waiting to be seen – especially if you have an ongoing dental health issue that needs attention – will lead to much more expensive treatments down the road.
If you’re in between jobs right now, don’t wait to explore your dental coverage options. Your smile needs consistent care to stay healthy, and Dental Express San Diego can help.
We specialize in providing patient-focused care, meaning no matter your financial situation, we’ll meet you where you are and find a way to provide the care you need within the bounds of your budget.
We accept most PPO dental insurance providers, Medi-Cal, and offer low-interest medical financing for every treatment from routine dental exams to full dentures.
Keeping your smile healthy is our top priority, and we’re happy to work with you to find the most reasonable solution for your wallet. If you’re unemployed and need affordable dental care, schedule an appointment online, give us a call, or stop by one of our six locations in San Diego for a walk-in visit.