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      December 11, 2019

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Spirit Dental vs eHealth

Best Dental Insurance Plans

To help you find the Best Dental Insurance Plans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Spirit Dental and eHealth.

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Where can you get the best dental insurance? If you're one of the 74 million Americans who aren't covered by an employer or government plan, chances are you've asked yourself that question recently. One big reason people avoid dental insurance is because those plans can be expensive.

The price for dental insurance can vary depending on where you live, but it's not uncommon for a basic cleaning to cost $100 - and that doesn't include the x-rays, the exam, or the cost of any repair work or fillings the dentist discovers during your visit. Fortunately, you can purchase your own coverage.

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Best Reviews

2019

Dental Insurance Reviews

3.5 stars
Spirit Dental

SPIRIT DENTAL

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Cost:

Plans start at $31.63/month

Benefits:

Guaranteed acceptance

3 cleanings and 2 exams per year included with every plan

$100 lifetime deductible

No waiting period on major services

Plans:

Dental Insurance

Spirit Dental is a fully-featured dental insurance plan, not a discount plan. All coverage options through Spirit include the following benefits:

  • No waiting on preventative, basic, or major services
  • 100% coverage on 3 cleanings and 2 exams per year
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • $100 lifetime deductible
  • Coverage for crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, root canals and more
  • Child orthodontics included in every play

Spirit Dental Insurance is a product of Ameritas. You'll find Ameritas plans quoted on other sites in our review, so be sure to comparison shop and see if it makes more sense to purchase your coverage through a third-party site with other providers or directly from Ameritas through Spirit Dental.

When you get your list of providers, you can filter the results by other preferences like distance, specialty (orthodontist, pediatric dentist, and so on), weekend hours, and so on. Then, click on any dentist's name to get a cost estimator for the practice; we liked that "cost effective" ones are highlighted in green. Unfortunately, until you have a member ID number, you won't be able to access the cost estimator unless you create a user account. Be aware of the disclaimer: "It is unlawful to misrepresent yourself as the insured member in order to gain access to this system for any purpose." So, if you really want access to that cost estimator, don't enter false information!

There were plenty of dentists in our area, including several that we know to have a fantastic reputation for affordable, skillful dental care.

Dental insurance through Spirit isn't cheap. In our area, we could expect to pay a minimum of $31.63 per month for an individual plan, with a coverage limit of $750 in the first year, $1,000 in the second year, and $1250 in the third and subsequent years. That same plan costs $63.26/month for two people, and $101.22/month for a family of 3 or more. Those premiums all apply to Spirit's Network plans. If you want to use the dentist of your choice and s/he is not in the Ameritas network, you'll pay more ($161.63 for coverage of $1200 every year for a family plan, as an example).

Spirit Dental offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but if you've received any services under your plan you will not be eligible for a premium refund. You can still cancel your plan within those 30 days with no penalty.

Direct Benefits is the distributor of Spirit Dental's plans, and that company enjoys an "A+" rating at the BBB. There were also very positive customer comments registered there, particularly praising the company's helpfulness in sorting out any issues with getting coverage, confirming benefits with dentists, and so on. For all of these reasons, including the many benefits that come with every Spirit Dental Plan, we give this provider a solid 3.5-star rating, especially for those who want traditional dental insurance and not a discount dental plan.

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3 stars
eHealth

E HEALTH

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Cost:

Plans start at $8/month

Benefits:

Site includes many types of insurance beyond dental (such as vision, accident, illness)

Help is available via toll-free number from licensed insurance agents

Plans:

Dental Insurance

eHealth, also known as eHealthInsurance, was founded in 1997 and was responsible for the very first internet-based sale of an insurance policy just a year later. The company was created with the mission to make it possible for individuals and families without insurance coverage to find what they needed easily and affordably. This site could be a good resource if you need one-stop shopping for a wide variety of insurance products, from health/dental/vision coverage to more specialized needs like pet insurance and travel insurance.

eHealth only offers traditional dental insurance plans, not dental discount programs. Although the eHealth site says that plans start at $8 per month, there were no available plans at that price point in our area. The lowest price in our area for a person of our sample demographic was $11.99/month. This is different from the other services in our review: each time we looked up plans in our area on those competitor sites, we were always able to find coverage at the advertised lowest available premium cost.

If you have a target budget or a type of plan (HMO, PPO, etc.) that you prefer, you can use the sort and filter options to narrow down the results. Once you've identified a plan that interests you, click on the details button to learn more: Overview, Primary Benefits, Additional Information, and Details and Documents. You'll also see any available add-ons that may or may not be with the same insurer as the dental plan: Vision coverage, Accident insurance, etc.

Our results list included dental insurance plans with the following carriers:

  • Humana
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Nationwide
  • Ameritas
  • Delta Dental
  • The IHC Group
  • Renaissance Dental

These providers offered plans running the gamut from PPO to HMO and Indemnity, and many of them had annual benefit limits from $1,000 to $3,000 per covered person. One plan, the Multiflex Dental Advantage Plus plan by Nationwide, had a monthly premium of $19.18 and an annual maximum coverage limit of $300; doing the math, that means a subscriber would be paying almost $240 a year for a coverage limit of $300. You'll definitely want to run the numbers in your situation, to make sure the plan you choose is worth the premiums you'll spend.

Using the eHealth site felt confusing and complicated. The service offers a toll-free number Monday-Friday from 9A-7P EST for people who need help, but we would have liked to see a live chat option too. We also didn't see anywhere to check if any of the dental insurance plans had providers in our area. In other words, to see if a plan would be accepted by our preferred dentist or to see if there are any in-network dentists near us, we would have to visit each insurer's site to make the determination. That leaves a lot of room for accidentally selecting the wrong plan (between the eHealth site and the insurers') and not getting accurate information about the dentists in our area.

eHealth has a good reputation and we like that they offer licensed insurance agents to help with a broad range of coverage products. But, if you're also looking to comparison shop for dental discount plans or you're not comfortable doing some legwork on your own to find out which plans have dentists nearby in their network, this might not be your favorite source of dental insurance plans.

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Continued from above

When it comes to Dental Insurance, you have two main options: traditional dental insurance or discount dental plans. With dental insurance, it works as you'd imagine you pay a monthly premium, and you may or may not have an annual deductible.

On the other hand, discount dental plans give you access to savings on dental services and are often valid for use from the day you pay for coverage. Many of these dental savings plans have options for further discounts on vision, hearing, prescriptions, and even telemedicine services.

So, what's the advantage of using one over the other? It really depends on what you're looking for. Many people like the security of a traditional dental insurance policy, because they're already familiar with how they work. However, a growing number of consumers are opting for discount dental plans: even though you have to pay at the time of service, the amount you save compared with paying 100% out of pocket can be significant.

No matter which type of dental coverage you need, what should you consider as you choose the right provider and plan for you or your family? Here are several criteria to keep in mind:

  • Type of Plans Available. If you already know you want a discount dental plan or traditional dental insurance, does the site offer it? How many providers are included? Can you choose from a wide range of plans, premium levels, and options?
  • Pricing. What will you pay for your coverage? Do you have the option to pay monthly or annually as you prefer? Will the dental insurance or discount plan save you enough money to justify the premiums and any enrollment fees?
  • Reputation. What do others have to say about their experience using the service and/or the plans provided? Is the company rated by the Better Business Bureau?
  • Support. Many dental insurance websites have licensed agents available to help you with your decision, assist you in completing the enrollment, and so on. How easy is it to get help if you need it?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Dental Insurance and discount dental plans available today. We hope this information helps you find the best coverage for a healthy smile at the right price!

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