MetLife

MetLife is one of the few large insurers who offer standalone dental plans for individuals. Its plans are very portable, which makes them perfect for you during every phase of your life.

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8.5
Grand Score
8
User Score
8.5
Grand Score
8
User Score
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With over 140 years of insurance experience, MetLife is well-positioned to take care of the dental needs of seniors. The company has a strong commitment to integrity, social responsibility and innovative products and services. MetLife offers dental plans to individuals who do not have insurance through an employer under the MetLife TakeAlong Dental trademark. This plan is portable so that it can stay with you through all stages of your life. It is also developing an HMO Managed Care dental plan that will be available only to residents of California, Florida, New York and Texas.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 5/10
Deductible 8/10
Co-pay 10/10
Waiting period 9/10
Coverage 9/10
Coverage limits 5/10
Enrollment ease 10/10
Dental access 8/10
Support access 9/10
Payment 9/10
Cost
Monthly premium
Varies by state of residence
Deductible
Is deductable required?
Yes, $25-$75 depending on plan
Co-pay
Is copay required?
No
Waiting period
Service wait period
Basic services are available immediately; 6-month waiting period for basic restorative care; 12-month waiting period major restorative care
Coverage
Service coverage
Diagnostic and preventive care; basic restorative and major restorative
Coverage limits
Annual maximum coverage
$1,000-$2,000 depending on plan
Enrollment ease
Ease of enrollment
Enroll online or by phone
Dental access
Choice of dentists
Can visit any dentist, but using an in-network one means lower out-of-pocket costs
Support access
Access to support
By phone 8:00 AM-8:00 PM ET Mon-Fri
Payment
Payments accepted
Check, credit card and electronic draft from checking account
Age Score:
10
50-64 Years
10
65-74 Years
10
75-84 Years
10
85-Older

MetLife’s TakeAlong dental plans stay with you through all stages of life, so are perfect for any senior. The plans allow you to visit any dentist, even if not a member of the network. However, your out-of-pocket costs will be higher with an out-of-network dentist. The plans cover 100% of preventive care with no waiting period. Services that are considered basic restorative and major restorative both require a waiting period. The plans have competitive pricing, low deductibles and a broad network of participating dentists, so they are an excellent choice for a senior at any age. You can also enroll your family under these same plans.

Health Score:
10
Poor Health
9
Fair Health
7
Good Health
5
Great Health

Dental plans offered through MetLife are available to all seniors, regardless of health. Plans offer coverage for hundreds of services at costs lower than is typical in the area where the service is performed. However, if you need a filling or root canal and have not met the waiting period requirement, you will not be covered. It would be wise to consider enrolling when you are in good health, before you may need more than preventive care. If you use a participating dentist, he or she may submit the claim for your services, saving you from having to deal with paperwork, which is valuable as health declines. You will be required to pay your deductible and any costs not covered by the insurance. Maintaining your oral health is important: dental problems have been linked to heart disease and stroke.

Pros:

  • MetLife dental plans do not have a co-pay but do require you to pay your annual deductible and any amount not covered by the plan. 
  • Individual deductibles range from $25-$75/year.
  • You can request a pre-treatment estimate of costs before you receive services. The estimate can usually be completed while you are still in the office.
  • About 90% of claims are handled within ten business days.
  • MetLife has a long history as an insurer and serves over 100 million customers worldwide.

Cons:

  • Its plans require a moderate waiting period of six months for basic restorative and a longer wait of one year for major restorative services. 
  • There is one HMO plan, but it is only available to residents of certain states.
  • It does not offer a dental plan specifically for seniors.

Bottom Line:

MetLife offers a few dental plans that serve the needs of most people, including seniors. With low deductibles, reasonable maximum annual benefits and portability, MetLife is a good option for dental insurance. MetLife is seen as one of the best dental insurance companies by many. On the other hand, the company received a C- rating from BBB’s website (several complaints on the website were left unanswered by the company). It is wise to consider all information available about a company before making a final decision. No insurance plan will be perfect, but it is possible to find one that provides the best coverage for your situation at a price you can afford.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How quickly can I use this insurance and for what services? You can begin using services on the first day of the month after you’ve enrolled.  Then, you can use the insurance for preventive care, like cleanings and x-rays. There is a 6-month waiting period for basic restorative services, such as fillings and extractions. However, major restorative services, including periodontal work, dentures, etc., require a one-year waiting period. 

How do I sign up? You can enroll online by going to its website. Enter your Zip code, and the company will provide a quote. If you choose to proceed, you can complete the process very quickly online or call its toll-free number. If you have questions, you can call its toll-free number or use its support email address. 

Can I keep my current dentist? All MetLife dental plans allow you to use any licensed dentist in the United States. Because MetLife pays based on a negotiated rate with the provider, your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher if you choose to receive services from an out-of-network provider. 

More Information:

Product Details 

Overview: MetLife Dental offers three PPO plans under its TakeAlong program: PPO-Low, PPO-Medium, and PPO-High. All of the plans offer 100% coverage for preventive exams, routine cleanings and X-rays. Also, all of the plans have a waiting period of six months for basic restorative services and one year for major restorative services.
 
Package Details: Three PPO plans offered are outlined below.
 
PPO-Low covers basic restorative care at 70%, and major restorative care at 50%. The individual annual deductible is $75. The annual maximum benefit is $1,000.

PPO-Medium covers basic restorative care at 70%, and major restorative care at 50%. The annual deductible is $50, with a maximum annual benefit of $1,500. 

PPO-High covers basic restorative care at 80%, and major restorative care at 50%. The individual deductible is $25, and the maximum annual benefit is $2,000.

Optional services: MetLife is developing an HMO dental plan, but will only be available to enrollees who live in California, Florida, New York and Texas.

Additional Company Details 

Contract Details: Be sure you thoroughly understand the plan you are interested in before signing up. Although you can cancel within 30 days, you will be left without coverage even longer.

Warranty: If you are not satisfied with your plan, you can cancel it within 30 days by writing to the company.

Accreditations: MetLife has been recognized by several organizations, including one of 100 Best Corporate Citizens in 2015 by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, one of America’s Most Reputable Companies 2014 by Forbes, and one of the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women in 2014 by National Association of Female Executives. MetLife is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but the BBB website has given MetLife a rating of C-.

Company Details: MetLife was founded in 1868. It is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Worldwide it serves approximately 100 million customers through offices in almost 50 countries. The company has 68,000 employees and is listed as 39th on the 2015 Fortune 500 list. 

Contact:

 
MetLife, Inc. (headquarters) 
200 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10166
Tel: (212) 578-2211

 

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

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