Many dental insurance plans include a waiting period of a few months and sometimes over a year before covering a particular dental service. Some dental insurers provide an option without a required period of waiting, but it can be challenging to find those offering this service without additional limitations.

Your primary goal is to find full coverage dental insurance without hidden conditions written in the fine print. Therefore, let’s check what is the best dental insurance with no waiting period in the US.

Best dental insurance with no waiting period

Company Best for Coverage limit States available Deductible Providers in-network
Humana Overall $1,000 to $1,500 49 $50 to $150 lifetime 270,000
MetLife Veterans $1,000 to $3,500 50 $25 to $75 490,000
Physician’s Mutual Seniors None 50 None 500,000+
Spirit Dental & Vision Major coverage $750 to $5,000 50 $100 lifetime 111,500
Delta Dental Affordable coverage None for the HMO plan 50 None for the HMO plan 152,000
UnitedHealthcare Basic coverage $1,000 to $3,000 47 $50 to $150 annual 1.3 million
Denali Dental Preventative care $750 to $6,000 34 $100 to $200 lifetime 300,000
Ameritas Orthodontics $750 to $2,500 50 $50 annual 111,500
Anthem Braces $1,000 for braces 14 $50 to $150 133,000

What Is a Dental Plan Waiting Period?

Most dental plans have a waiting period, or the time you should wait before receiving coverage for some or all offered services. It typically lasts 3 to 12 months, even longer, and varies according to each agreed individual plan.

Typical dental insurance waiting period

Dental care type Typical waiting period
Preventive care Typically none, sometimes 3 or 6 months
Major care 6 or 12 months
Basic care None, sometimes 3, 4, or 6 months
Dentures 6 or 12 months
Dental implant 6 or 12 months
Teeth whitening Rarely included in dental policies (waiting period of 6 months if included)
Orthodontia Rarely included in dental policies (waiting period of 12 months if included)

Insurance companies include this period to save money on new members needing expensive dental services immediately. Sometimes, such patients quit coverage as soon as they finish the procedure. So, the waiting period decreases these expenses and makes premiums less costly.

The rule of thumb is that basic services have a shorter waiting period. On the other hand, it is longer for most major services, like oral surgery and crowns. Finally, you can expect that most plans include preventive care without a waiting period.

Remember that insurers include dental plans with or without a waiting period, depending on their policy. However, you can notice that they increase coverage and sometimes cancel a waiting period for long-term clients.

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For instance, Humana waives the waiting period for all dental plans for clients who had dental insurance for the previous year. Additionally, insurers sometimes respect the dentist’s recommendation for urgent treatment and agree to shorten the initial period.

Even though each insurance company divides its services differently, most recognize three categories based on their cost.

Prevention (without a waiting period)

  • Teeth cleaning
  • Exams
  • Sealants
  • X-rays
  • Fluoride treatments

Basic services (with a standard waiting period of 3 to 6 months)

  • Non-surgical tooth extractions
  • Fillings
  • Simple extractions
  • Simple periodontal care (root planing, root scaling)

Major (complex) services (with a waiting period of at least 12 months)

  • Dentures
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Implants
  • Orthodontics

The primary benefit of dental insurance without a waiting period starts immediately. Unfortunately, you will never get such a privilege for all services unless you cooperate with the same insurance company for a long.

Best Dental Insurance with No Waiting Period

Finding the best dental insurance company to fulfill your needs can be challenging. You should determine your priorities and look for a particular company according to that.

Remember that they always provide at least one dental plan without a waiting period, so it is necessary to check the following:

  • Waiting period and possible waiver
  • Maximum annual coverage
  • Coinsurance requirements
  • In-network and out-of-network dentists
  • Deductibles
  • Exclusions (things excluded from the offer)

1. Humana

Humana is considered the best dental insurance with no waiting period in the US. The company provides diverse dental insurance solutions, including:

  • Affordable premiums
  • A wide network of dentists
  • Low deductibles

You can find three programs available in 49 states, including the option for veterans. Their PPO plan includes preventative care without a waiting period, but it is not the same for other services.

For instance, the waiting period for basic care is six months. On the other hand, you need to wait a year for major services when you haven’t had dental coverage over the last year.

Humana’s coverage limit for Loyalty Plus is $1,000 to $1,500 per year, while the Preventative Value plan is unlimited. Besides, a longer subscription means up to a 50% discount for root canal coverage. About 270,000 in-network dentists accept this insurance plan.

2. Denali Dental

Denali Dental has an excellent plan for preventive care, a low lifetime deductible, and a coverage limit of $750 to $6,000. In other words, the company fully covers two exams and four teeth cleaning a year. You can use this insurance in 34 states.

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Their initial coinsurance rates depend on the state where you live and are 70% to 90%, but that percentage decreases over four years. Unfortunately, a low-cost plan doesn’t cover orthodontics.

3. UnitedHealthcare

This insurance company offers 100% covered preventative care dental plans without a waiting period. Their coverage is impressive, with about 1.3 million in-network providers in 47 states. The coverage limit is $1,000 to $3,000, while monthly premiums are affordable.

A downside of this option is that plan availability varies depending on the state. Besides, a few plans initially cover basic care at only 35%, and only one includes orthodontics.

4. Spirit Dental & Vision

This widely available dental insurer offers a range of PPO insurance plans in all states, starting at $20. They provide insurance without a waiting period, a few covered preventative appointments, and inclusive programs.

Their plans have an impressive annual maximum of up to $5,000, including those covering kids’ orthodontic care. The monthly premiums are expensive, but you can also get three covered cleanings a year for that money.

The advantage of this option is a significant number of included dentists, but you can also choose yours. Preventative is 100% covered from the first day of the policy, but no one plan covers already missed teeth.

5. Ameritas

Ameritas offers several dental plans without a waiting period, but be prepared that the standard procedure with included orthodontic care implies a waiting period of 12 months. This insurer is present in 50 states and has a $750 to $2,500 coverage limit.

The coinsurance rates start at 85% and drop to 50% after 12 months, making this option excellent for orthodontia. If you have a chosen dentist, it is not the best option for you since low-cost plans are strictly limited to their in-network providers.

6. MetLife

This dental insurance company provides major procedures without a waiting period on the Veterans Affairs dental plan in 50 states and Washington, DC. Their coverage limit is $1,000 to $3,500, depending on a chosen PPO plan, and you can use it at 500,000 provider locations.

If you use their network of dentists, the insurer covers:

  • 30% to 50% of major services
  • 70% of basic services
  • 100% of preventive care

Keep in mind that a plan covering orthodontia always has a waiting period of 24 months. Besides, deductibles are higher on low plans.

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7. Delta Dental

This insurance company offers without a waiting period are the best affordable in 50 states, but their policy depends on the state where you live. It is popular because the benefits they provide increase up to year three on basic and complex services.

Besides, the insurer covers a wide network of dentists and offers a high annual coverage limit. On the other hand, always check all the details in your contract because some plans require waiting periods for particular services.

Their premiums are relatively low but don’t cover implants, and you can count on only one policy with no waiting period. On the other hand, the insurer covers orthodontics for both kids and adults. The negative side is the necessity of paying premiums upfront for the entire year.

8. Anthem

This insurance company offers five tiers of HMO and PPO plans in 14 states. The provided annual coverage limit ranges from $1,000 to $2,500, and you can count on a plan for braces without a waiting period. After paying a $150 deductible, you can get 50% coinsurance for kids’ braces for the orthodontic maximum of $1,000.

9. Physicians Mutual

Physicians Mutual is probably the best option for seniors in the US living in 50 states. The company offers three plan levels and 350 covered procedures without a coverage limit, deductibles, and a waiting period.

However, you should pay attention to their conditions and special requirements. The considerable benefit of this option is 500,000 in-network providers and relatively low monthly premiums, typically ranging from $30 to $50.

Summary

Dental insurance waiting periods can last for months, even over a year, so your goal is to find the best dental insurer offering the service without a waiting period. Even when finding reliable companies, you should check their monthly premiums, annual limits, coinsurance rates, and deductibles. Be prepared that the best options can be expensive but always provide excellent benefits.

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