Working for yourself can be a fantastic way to earn a living. Freelancers, entrepreneurs and other self-employed folks can choose their own projects, set their own hours and otherwise enjoy much more freedom than someone working a typical nine-to-five.
However, self-employment also means you’re responsible for your own insurance, including dental insurance. Although finding affordable dental care can feel like a struggle, options are available. Here’s what every freelancer needs to know:
Does Dental Insurance for Freelancers Exist?
Yes and no. Insurance companies do market certain policies towards the self-employed. But the policies are usually no different than the private dental insurance available for everyone else. Even though you certainly work hard as a freelancer or entrepreneur, dental insurance providers don’t consider your 1 person business the same as a workplace with multiple employees.
About 250 million people in the U.S. have dental insurance. Ninety percent of those policies are provided through an employer. But over 10 million people are self-employed. Without an employer to provide dental insurance, many consider buying dental policies on their own.
Should I Buy an Individual Dental Insurance Policy?
Private policies have benefits and pitfalls. On the plus side, your insured status isn’t dependent on your employment status. The policy provider doesn’t particularly care what you do for a living. As long as you keep up with your monthly premiums, your policy will stay in effect.
But dental insurance can have a variety of costs and complications. You’ll have to pay a premium every month. Plus, dental insurance doesn’t cover all procedures in the same way. While preventative care is typically covered at 100% percent, basic and major procedures are covered at 80% and 50%, respectively.
Plus, dental policies often place limits on pre-existing conditions. You might have to wait between three and six months for coverage on basic procedures such as fillings, deep cleanings and extractions. More complicated procedures such as root canals, implants and dental surgeries could have a waiting period of six months to a year.
If you’re self-employed, or even if you’re offered insurance through a traditional employer, you’ll need to carefully analyze the costs and benefits of any dental policy you’re considering. Make sure you’re not paying more towards dental insurance than you’re getting in return.
Can I Lower Dental Insurance Costs?
As a self-employed individual, you do have access to certain tax credits which might be able to help you save on care costs. Dental insurance is often considered a type of medical expense, which means you can claim a deduction for related payments. Even more deductions are potentially available if you’re providing for a family.
As with anything related to taxes, the details matter. You’ll want to discuss potential dental-related deductions with an accountant or another financial professional familiar with your specific situation.
Can I Get Dental Insurance through the ACA?
The Affordable Cara Act has greatly expanded health insurance options for the self-employed. But does the ACA also help provide affordable dental care? Unfortunately, the answer depends on a few factors.
Certain ACA health insurance policies include dental policies. Additionally, stand-alone dental policies also exist on the ACA marketplace, but they’re only available if you already have health insurance through the ACA.
Unlike health insurance, dental insurance isn’t legally required. Because health insurance providers don’t have to offer it, marketplace options are often limited and can vary substantially by state. Additionally, if you’re the sole employee of your organization, you’re ineligible for small business policies (referred to as the SHOP program).
What if Dental Insurance Doesn’t Seem Like a Good Fit for Me?
Dental insurance doesn’t make financial sense for everybody. You might be paying more towards the insurance company than you’re saving in care costs. Plus, dental insurance is rarely the best option if you’re looking to fix basic or major dental problems quickly.
Many people have the impression that a lack of dental insurance equals a lack of dental care. But that’s not the case. Unlike health and auto insurance, dental insurance has viable alternatives.
Careington dental discount plans are the most popular alternative to dental insurance. Careington discount plans offer an average savings of 20-50% on a variety of preventative, basic and major procedures. Discounts vary based on the specific type of plan, but plenty of options are available to help you save on procedures you need. Plans are accepted by over 110,000 dental professionals nationwide.
A big benefit of discount plans is they have no restrictions on pre-existing conditions. You can save on issues you currently have. Plus, there are no wait times. Within days of subscribing to a Careington discount plan, you’ll be given a dental discount card that you can use right way. Discounts apply directly at the time of service, with no waiting periods. Simply present the card at the office of any participating dental professional for instant savings.
Dental Care is Affordable for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs
Freelancers, entrepreneurs and other self-employed folks can still afford healthy teeth and gums. However, dental insurance isn’t always the best solution. Unlike employer-provided insurance, buying your own policy poses unique financial challenges. Make sure your policy actually covers the care you need.
Always remember: you don’t need dental insurance to have healthy teeth and gums. Dental discount plans help reduce dental care costs on a wide range of procedures. Plus, discount plans offer plenty of flexibility, which is often ideal for the needs of the self-employed.
To find out more please compare Careington dental savings plans.