Dental Insurance for College Students

By the time most children reach college age they are likely not carried on their parent’s health or dental plans any more. Although the laws have recently changed and now children in school full time can stay on their parents’ policies until their 26th birthday, there are times when the cost of carrying health and dental insurance on a family plan is more than a budget allows for. For this reason, many college students are on their own when it comes to dental or health insurance. If you are looking for dental insurance for yourself as a college student or for your child who is away at school, there are several options to choose from.

Dental Plans through the University
Many colleges and universities also have dental insurance or dental plans available to their students. Because this is a group plan, students will be able to get discount rates but there may be a minimal amount of preventative services. Most often dental plans through colleges offer care for such things as fillings and extractions, but some do also provide routine cleanings and x-rays as well. Check the brochure that your school hands out to find the exact details. Sometimes you will need to visit the select group of providers chosen by your school’s plan and other times you may be free to choose the dentist of your choice.

Aetna Dental Insurance for Students
One of the better dental insurance plans for students is offered through Aetna. For those looking for a good dental insurance plan then perhaps Aetna PPO would be a good choice. This plan, although a PPO, does allow for going out of network to receive services. The difference would primarily be in out-of-pocket expenses and of course out of network providers may not be limited to the same charges that in network providers are, but you will still be free to choose your own dentist as you see fit.

Dental Plans vs. Dental Insurance
There is some amount of misunderstanding between dental plans and dental insurance. Some parents feel that buying their college student a dental plan will automatically give them the coverage they need. Actually, there are a good many dental plans for college students that don’t cover much  but a small fraction of fillings and perhaps extractions.  The premise behind these plans is that for each service the dental plan will reimburse up to a certain amount. Sometimes the dentist belongs to the dental plan and other times he/she doesn’t. In cases like this the student would need to pay the whole thing out of pocket and then sit back and wait for a few dollars to be reimbursed. Dental insurance, on the other hand, generally works with a network of providers who accept a co pay at the time of treatment. Some have a deductible which must be met while other dental offices will direct bill the insurance company.

Choosing the right student dental insurance plan is imperative because nothing is worse than being away from home with a major toothache. (Especially since they usually show up just around finals!) If you have good teeth and your parents have taken you routinely to the dentist throughout your life then perhaps a dental plan would be sufficient. But for the best coverage offering the majority of services at lower cost out of pocket, student dental insurance would be a better choice. You can do a quick internet search to find a company that offers the coverage you need so that you will not need to worry about your teeth while away at school. Heaven knows, you have enough to worry about as it is!

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