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What To Do If You're Unemployed and Need A Dental Insurance Plan

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Being between jobs is one of life’s most challenging situations. Add health insurance worries into the mix, and you have a situation that can challenge you physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Some people find that taking action to manage the various aspects of a stressful situation is a good way to feel like you have taken back control over your life. A good place to start may be making a plan to ensure you can pay for your health care costs, including dental. COBRA plans tend to be very costly (see below for more on these) so compare COBRA with a plan from your local or the Federal ACA Marketplace. Unemployment qualifies as a Life Event and enables you to sign up for insurance outside of the annual Open Enrollment period.  

Getting New (or Keeping Your Old) Dental Coverage 

People tend to have two major reasons for wanting dental insurance: peace of mind or immediate help in paying for dental care. If you had good dental insurance coverage at your previous job, you’re probably not used to worrying about how you’ll pay for regular dental care. Now you want assurance that you will also be able to pay for dental care during the period of time that you’re unemployed. 

(And since your new employer may not offer dental coverage, waiting with fingers crossed until you are working again may not be the wisest course of action.) 

Be aware though, that when you first purchase dental insurance, you’ll typically have a waiting period for anything but basic preventative care. Your coverage for things like root canals, crowns and other treatments won’t become available for up to a year.  

The good news is that you can find dental insurance on the private market that waives the waiting period if you’ve recently had dental insurance. You will have to provide proof of recent coverage to get the waiver. The key here is “recent,” – it’s best to purchase another policy within a month of job termination. 

Dental Savings Plans 

At DentalPlans.com, we offer dental savings plans as an accessible alternative to traditional dental insurance, ensuring you can access the dental care you need even during periods of unemployment. Our dental savings plans eliminate annual limits, restrictions around existing oral health conditions, and waiting – plans activate right away.

Dental savings plan members report saving an average of 50%* on their dental care costs, for a much lower annual fee compared to traditional dental insurance. Upon joining, you can start using your plan within 72 hours, sometimes even sooner with our emergency activation options, to save on a wide range of dental services, including checkups, fillings, root canals, crowns, dentures and more.

Moreover, many of the plans we offer extend discounts to treatments such as dental implants and cosmetic dental services, which are often not covered by insurance. Additionally, some plans offer savings on general healthcare needs, including telemedicine, vision and hearing services, prescriptions, chiropractic care, and more.

At DentalPlans.com, we’re committed to providing affordable and comprehensive dental care solutions, ensuring you can maintain optimal oral health without financial stress.

See how much you can save with a dental savings plan.

Use our calculator below >

COBRA and Dental Insurance 

COBRA is a federal law that entitles people to remain on their employer’s group health plan for a limited period of time (usually 18 months). It is important to understand that you have to pay the full rate for your insurance, without your employer’s contribution. 

In general, businesses that employed at least 20 workers in the previous year and offer a health insurance plan are obligated to offer COBRA. You can qualify for COBRA if you quit or were fired from your job, you are moving from full-time to part time work, or you were covered by a spouse. 

An employer has thirty days to notify the insurance company of your eligibility for COBRA continuation of benefits, and the insurance company then has fourteen days to provide you with information regarding the costs and benefits of the health care continuation coverage. 

As noted above, COBRA coverage tends to be very expensive, but you may want to take advantage of COBRA if you or a family member has a pre-existing health condition. You may also want to explore other options, such as an ACA healthcare plan. It may be a good idea to discuss your options for private insurance with a broker or agent. 

ACA coverage for unemployed people 

You can obtain healthcare and dental insurance through your state’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, or through the federal marketplace (healthcare.gov). The ACA allows those who have experienced a “Qualifying Life Event” to purchase insurance throughout the year. 

A Qualifying Life Event is defined as a major change in your circumstances. This would include getting married or divorced, having a baby, or losing your existing health coverage.  

ACA plans typically do not include dental insurance for adults. 

Don’t delay making an insurance decision. You need to sign up for an ACA plan within 60 days of losing your employer insurance plan. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for the next annual open enrollment period or until your COBRA coverage ends to apply for ACA insurance. You can switch to private insurance from COBRA at any time. 

Best dental plan if you’re unemployed

Now you know about options to reduce the cost of dental care while you’re unemployed. Before choosing which is best for your needs, you may also want to consider what plan can help you keep saving even after you find a new job. 

The good news is that even if your next employer offers dental insurance, you can continue to use a dental savings plan to reduce the costs of treatments that insurance rarely covers as well as save on expensive treatments that exceed your insurance’s annual spending limit. Ask your dentist how you can coordinate the use of your dental plan and your dental insurance. And if your new employer doesn’t offer dental, no problem – you can continue to rely on your dental savings plan to reduce the cost of virtually all of your dental care. 

Want help choosing the dental savings plan that’s right for you? Give us a call at 1-833-735-0399 or use our calculator below for a quick peek at how much you can save with a dental savings plan. 

Let’s see what you can save.

See how quickly your dental savings plan can pay for itself. We automatically add preventive care.

Who is this plan for?

Any procedures coming up?

How many family members should be included?

Select the procedures that you need.