This is part two of a two part series. Read part one: Dental Insurance with No Waiting Period: What You Need to Know.
You're looking for dental insurance with no waiting period because you need a dental procedure now or you want to be sure you have coverage for the care you need as you start making premium payments. Remember that premiums will be higher on these plans than plans with waiting periods — you're paying extra to have immediate coverage. Even with the surcharge for immediate coverage, your plan may exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Below you'll find a summary of what no waiting period policies top-ranked dental insurance companies offer:
UnitedHealthcare has earned the number one rank on Best Company among dental insurance companies. Its overall score is 7.1/10, and it has earned a 4.1/5 star rating from reviewers.
Customer Review: Natalie Brown from Boulder, Colorado
"United is great and I highly recommend it! The customer service is very good and the policies they have fit perfectly with my budget. They are affordable but provide good coverage for the year."
UnitedHealthcare offers a number of dental plans across the United States. Plan availability may vary by zip code. Some of UnitedHealthcare's plans have waiting periods for basic and major services. Fortunately, it also carries plans that have no waiting periods. However, these plans do not cover pre-existing conditions.
UnitedHealthcare categorizes simple fillings and extractions as basic services and crowns, root canals, oral surgery, and bridges as major services.
The following plans offer immediate coverage for basic services: Primary, Primary Plus, Primary Preferred, Primary Preferred Plus, and Premier Elite plans. Coverage levels for basic services increase after you've had the plan for one year and again after two years.
The Primary and Primary Plus plans do not offer coverage for major services. Primary Preferred, Primary Preferred Plus, and Premier Elite plans have six month waiting periods for major services. Coverage levels for major services also increase after the first and second year on these plans.
If you live in Pennsylvania, UnitedHealthcare's Essential and Essential Preferred plans offer immediate coverage for basic services. The Essential Preferred plan also covers major services after a six month waiting period.
UnitedHealthcare offers two plans with no waiting periods for both basic and major services: Premier Choice and Premier Plus. Coverage levels for basic and major services increase after you've had the plan for one year and again when you've had it for two years.
MetLife takes close second place on Best Company with scores tied with UnitedHealthcare 7.1/10 overall score and a 4.4/5 star rating from reviewers.
Customer Review: CB from Thibodaux, Louisiana
"Great coverage! Very trustable when I need something done to my teeth and by far the friendliest customer service to deal with!"
While MetLife specializes in employer-sponsored insurance, it does offer two plans without waiting periods for basic and major services: Federal Dental and Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program.
The brochures for these plans do not explicitly mention not covering services for pre-existing conditions except in a few cases with the Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program, like fitting dentures for the first time if the tooth was missing before coverage started, unless it was missing due to genetics.
MetLife's Federal Dental plan is for current and retired federal employees. It's also available to retired military members. It has two options: the Standard Option and the High Option. Both options offer in- and out-of-network coverage. The High Option has higher coverage levels for out-of-pocket expenses.
MetLife's Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program is for veterans. Like the Federal Dental Plan, it has a Standard Option and a High Option. Both plans cover in- and out-of-network coverage. The High Option offers higher cost-sharing and covers orthodontics.
Third place goes to Cigna, with a 6.9/10 overall score and a 3.9/5 user star rating.
Customer Review: Katie Carver from Cheyenne, Wyoming
"We have had Cigna insurance for a few years and we have been very happy with it. They have always covered what we needed them to cover. No complaints."
While a reliable insurer, it's not a great option if you want insurance with no waiting periods. If you've had comparable dental insurance coverage for 12 consecutive months, you might be able to have the waiting periods waived.
If you live in Rhode Island, the Cigna Dental 1000 and Cigna Dental 1500 do not have waiting periods.
If you haven't had consistent dental insurance or don't live in Rhode Island, you'll want to look at other companies.
Delta Dental has received the most customer reviews compared to the other dental insurers on Best Company. The sheer number of reviews indicates how commonly used the insurer is. It has earned a 5.7/10 overall score and a 4.1/5 user star rating. Such a high user rating from over 100 reviews speaks to the quality Delta Dental offers.
Customer Review: Dwhoush from Pensacola, Florida
"I love Delta Dental. The customer Service line is always easy to reach and they answer every question I’ve had."
Delta Dental offers plans throughout the United States, and there may be some location-based differences. If no waiting period dental insurance is available in one area, it may be available in others, too. In Arizona, for example, Delta Dental offers two plans with no waiting periods for basic and major services: Turquoise Plan and Copper Plan.
Both plans increase Delta Dental's cost-sharing of out-of-pocket expenses after the first and second years of maintaining the policy. The list of exclusions for both plans does not specifically mention pre-existing conditions. While this is hopeful news for anyone needing dental care now, you should ask to be sure before enrolling in a policy.
Humana has earned the number five slot on Best Company with an overall score of 5.4 and a user rating of 3.9/5 stars.
Customer Review: Brayden Ibert from Houston, Texas
"Humana dental insurance is accepted at many places near me and pays a decent amount towards the cost of routine and non-routine dental care. Their website and customer service numbers are easy to use and helpful."
Humana offers two plans with no waiting periods: Dental Loyalty Plus and Dental Value.
The Dental Loyalty Plus plan has a one-time deductible, which means that once the deductible is met, you do not have to pay any more for your dental care until the annual maximum benefit is met for the year as long as you keep the plan. This plan also has increasing insurer cost-sharing payments and an annual maximum benefit for the second and third year you maintain the plan.
The Dental Value plan is a hybrid of dental insurance and a dental savings plan. There is no deductible for these plans. The insurer pays a set percentage for preventive services. There are set fees for basic and major care. This plan puts more financial responsibility on you for the treatment you receive.
If you're in Tennessee, Humana's Complete Dental plan does not have waiting periods. This plan has lower, one-time deductibles than the Dental Loyalty Plus plan. It also offers stable cost-sharing levels, which means you may find higher cost-sharing levels earlier than with the Dental Loyalty Plus plan.
If a no waiting period dental insurance plan isn't a great fit for you, Humana also offers a dental discount plan: Dental Savings Plus. This plan lets you have discounted fees for dental services you receive.
Humana is not clear on whether its plans offer out-of-network coverage, so you'll want to check before enrolling.