Delta Dental

Delta Dental is a leading insurer offering dental coverage to individuals and families. Together with its 39 affiliate companies, it provides dental insurance to 70 million Americans.

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5.6
Grand Score
8
User Score
5.6
Grand Score
8
User Score
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Caring for our teeth and gums has an impact on our overall health throughout our lives, and most especially as we get older. Delta Dental is one of the leading companies in the U.S. that offers dental insurance for individuals, helping them afford to keep their teeth and gums healthy. It offers a range of plans through its member companies. Where you live will determine how many plans you will have from which to choose. Delta employs unique cost-cutting measures that help to keep costs low.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 5/10
Deductible 8/10
Co-pay 6/10
Waiting period 5/10
Coverage 9/10
Coverage limits 8/10
Enrollment ease 10/10
Dental access 8/10
Support access 4/10
Payment 10/10
Cost
Monthly premium
Varies by the state of residence
Deductible
Is deductable required?
$0-$50 depending on plan
Co-pay
Is copay required?
0-50% depending on plan and service rendered
Waiting period
Service wait period
No waiting period on the HMO plan; no waiting period for preventive on PPO plans, but 3-6 months for different restorative work
Coverage
Service coverage
Preventive, basic and major dental procedures
Coverage limits
Annual maximum coverage
Depending on plan, $0-$1,500/year
Enrollment ease
Ease of enrollment
Enroll online or by phone
Dental access
Choice of dentists
Depending on the PPO plan, you can still use current dentist; with the HMO plan, must use network dentist
Support access
Access to support
Help available from 8:30 AM- 5:00 PM CST Mon-Thurs and 8:30 AM-2:30 PM CST Fri
Payment
Payments accepted
Automatic debit from checking account or automatic charge to credit card
Age Score:
5
50-64 Years
4
65-74 Years
4
75-84 Years
2
85-Older

Together with its many affiliate companies, Delta Dental forms one of the largest dental insurance systems in the country. Delta Dental Insurance Company offers dental insurance through its 39 affiliate companies in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Furthermore, it uses brokers to handle its PPO dental plans. The sheer number of organizations that issue these products makes it especially difficult to navigate the many websites that are available and the many types of plans offered. Younger seniors may be willing to take the time to do the legwork to get their questions answered. However, those who are older will find it difficult to navigate the various websites or to get the right office to answer their questions.

Health Score:
4
Poor Health
4
Fair Health
3
Good Health
2
Great Health

Delta Dental has three basic plans, two of which are PPO plans. These plans allow you to choose your dentist, even if they are not members of the network. It also offers an HMO plan which limits your choice to a list of dentists in your area. If you are in good health and do not mind going to a new dentist, this will not be problematic. Seniors whose health may be deteriorating will find this more disconcerting. While the benefit amount increases each year for the first three years, this applies to all services, including preventive care. Up to 40% of the fee could be the responsibility of the patient in year one.

Pros:

  • Delta Dental is a large company with large networks of dentists who offer services.
  • The company has a mobile app that allows you to search for dentists and check claim status. It even has a built-in toothbrush timer to help you maintain good habits.
  • You can check claim status or benefits by logging in to your online account.
  • You can request a pre-treatment estimate before having any procedure.
  • Dentists in the network will submit your claim directly to the company, so you don’t need to do any paperwork.

Cons:

  • Delta Dental is a large conglomerate with many affiliate companies that serve different states or areas of the country. The resulting complexity makes it difficult to navigate insurance options on its many websites. 
  • You must designate a dentist when you sign up for the insurance. 
  • Pre-treatment estimates can take up to three weeks to receive.

Bottom Line:

Delta Dental is a very large organization with almost 40 affiliate companies that sell insurance. This fact alone makes it difficult to navigate the options available. The number of plans available varies from state to state. The number of websites that one must review to find the options available to them is overwhelming and confusing. There are examples of inconsistency in data reported from one to another. Delta Dental states that surveys confirm its customers are satisfied with the company. That may be true, but becoming a customer may take more time than a senior is willing to invest. The low costs it promises may be the only reason to persevere.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How quickly can I use this insurance and for what services? If you enroll in an HMO plan in which you must choose your dentist from a list of those accepting the plan, there is no waiting period for any service. If you choose a PPO Plan, where you have more flexibility in choosing a dentist, there is no waiting period for preventive care, exams and x-rays. Depending on your plan, there may be a 3-month or 6-month waiting period for basic restorative work, like fillings, extractions and denture repair, for example. Major restorative work (root canals, periodontal work and crowns) requires a 6-month waiting period, no matter which plan you have chosen. 

How do I sign up? You can enroll on its website. Either request a quote by entering your Zip code, or call its toll-free number to speak with a representative.

Can I keep my current dentist? If you enroll in a PPO plan, you can keep your current dentist. If you choose a dentist that is not in the network, however, your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher. If you have enrolled in an HMO plan, you must choose a dentist from a list in your area who will accept your plan.

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: Delta Dental offers three basic packages: two PPO plans and one HMO plan. Depending on where you reside other plans may also be available. Dentists in the network will submit claims to the company, so there is less paperwork for the patient to handle.

Package Details: The HMO plan, Delta Care USA, is the least expensive option. Because you must choose a dentist from a list, there is less flexibility. The network for this plan is limited to 59,000 office locations. This option has no annual maximum benefit, no deductible and no waiting period. There may be a small co-pay for services.

The Delta Dental PPO and Delta Dental Premier PPO plans have fewer restrictions on the dentist you choose to visit. However, it will cost more to visit a dentist who is out of the network. These plans also have an annual maximum benefit of between $1,000 and $1,500. Depending on the plan, there may be a co-pay for services. The deductible also varies depending on the plan you choose. The amount of the benefit for all services increases for the first three years; therefore, you may need to pay 20% for cleanings in year 1, 10% in year 2 and nothing in year 3. Finally, these plans have a waiting period of 6 months for basic services such as a filling, and one year for major services, such as a crown or dentures.
 
,h4.Additional Company Details

Contract Details: An enrollment fee is required and ranges from $10-35.

Warranty:  If you are not pleased with the plan you have purchased, you may cancel within 30 days with written notice.

Accreditations: Northeast Delta Dental, an affiliate company, has been given several awards, including being named one of the ten best companies to work for in New Hampshire. The company has also been cited for helping out financially when there is a disaster in the community. Delta Dental at the corporate level is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but has received a rating of ‘F’ on the BBB website, based on the complaints filed on that site and the way Delta Dental has responded to those customers.

Company Details: Delta Dental was created in 1954 when a group of dentists recognized the need to improve access to better dental care. It created dental service organizations in California, Oregon and Washington. Washington created Delta Dental of Washington (DDWA). In 1966, DDWA and other local organizations joined together to create Delta Dental Plans Association so they could coordinate benefits. Affiliate companies continued to be created. In 1990, Delta USA was created to oversee dentist data that was shared among and between the affiliates. This organization also enabled the administration of its national business. Its goal is to expand access to oral health care and give back to the communities it serves. 

Contact: 

Delta Dental Insurance Company
1130 Sanctuary Pkwy, Suite 600
Alpharetta, GA 30009
Tel: (770) 641-5100

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

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