Most health insurance companies in India do not provide separately for dental expenses. Of late however, a few general health insurance plans cover dental treatment under its general terms of insurance.
Some of the general insurance policies that cover dental care in India are as under.
Individual Health Policies
The individual negotiates inclusion of dental care with additions if any in the premium payable.
Surgery and Critical Illness Policies
There often are standalone policies that cater to specific illness and some insurers offer dental surgeries under critical care category.
Family Floater Policies
The family floater policy which covers a number of insured in a family, also includes dental care with the risk of the coverage getting exhausted if used up for dental care. Some travel insurance policies cover dental care subsequent to any accident during the travel
Insurers Providing Dental Cover in India
While a few prominent insurers like Apollo Munich, Bajaj Allianz, Bharti Axa and a few others offer dental care by way of surgery or treatment, most insurers exclude hospitalization for dental treatment caused by any accident. For instance, Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance policy provides you premium-class healthcare and medical treatment, whilst keeping you financially secure. It has a wide network of 5000+ hospitals, which helps you seek medical aid easily. It is also well known for its highly affordable health insurance plans and claim settlement ratios. You might also save on taxes as this policy comes with a tax benefit under section 80D.
Dental Insurance – Global Scenario
As standalone dental insurance is yet to take off in India, a look at how such coverage works in other developed countries may be of interest.
In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is the cheapest option, though some payment will be needed when dealing with actual dental treatment. Routine dental care may get covered under NHS but if teeth need more care, private dental treatment will be required and dental insurance will cover expenses of NHS treatment and certain levels of private treatment. Thus in the UK, while simple procedures under NHS get covered under a dental care insurance, anything complicated or needing cosmetic improvement if treated even under the NHS, will need extra payment.
In the USA, dental insurance is very common with various options available to the insured. They are encouraged to assess the need at an individual basis by following a checklist, which gives various options, the costs attached as well as the best payment options. Some of the options/plans available include DHMO (Dental Health Maintenance Organization) Dental plans, a managed care where a panel of qualified dentists are available for the insured to choose and pay a low monthly premium to receive services free or at reduced costs. Similar is the PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Dental Insurance Plan where again the insured selects dentists from a pane land they are free to visit any dentist from the panel.
The Bottom Line
It is generally accepted by health care practitioners that oral care plays an important part in overall health of an individual. However as costs in dental care are also high like in general health care, it is important to have health insurance coverage for all types of physical ailments including dental care. It is hoped health insurance companies in India will also soon come up with some unique schemes as prevalent in other countries, to make dental treatment manageable.