Ameritas is one of the largest dental and vision insurance companies in the United States, with over 4 million customers, offering services for individuals, businesses, families, and seniors.
But is Ameritas dental insurance right for you? In this article, we are reviewing Ameritas dental plans to see how much they cost, what they cover, and more.
Ameritas Mutual Holding Company is a long-standing organization that provides dental and vision insurance, along with other services such as life insurance. There is an Ameritas group division for health (including dental and vision insurance); Ameritas life insurance; and products for financial and business protection.
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Ameritas dental insurance is part of the Ameritas Mutual Holding Company. Dating back to the 19th century, Ameritas has offered both dental and vision insurance with high ratings for its services. Ameritas Mutual Holding Company has earned an A rating from AM Best, which evaluates insurers’ financial strength, and an A+ from Standard and Poors.
All Ameritas dental health insurance plans have a PPO structure, meaning you can choose any dentist you want, but save more when you stick to the network. To learn more about PPO dental insurance, and how it differs from the dental HMO structure, read this article on the two most common types of dental insurance.
Your level of coverage depends on the type of plan you purchase.
The Value plan only provides 80% coverage for cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatment and sealants, and does not cover major services including crowns, root canal procedures, bridges, and oral surgery. Additionally, there is an average coverage of $50 for fillings and extractions.
Silver and Gold plans provide more coverage, at 100% for preventive care such as cleaning and sealants, as long as you choose an in-network dentist. Instead of a percentage covered, they provide Maximum Covered Expenses for basic and major procedures. Basic procedures include fillings and extractions, while major services include root canal procedures and crowns.
An example of Silver level coverage for basic procedures is $75 for a one-surface resin composite filling. For crowns, one of the major services covered by your benefits, you can expect that $335 of your expenses will be reimbursed. Major procedures, however, have a six-month waiting period. Gold level dental coverage is slightly higher, with a larger maximum.
If you’re looking for family coverage, some Ameritas dental plans will reimburse you for children’s orthodontic care. This is only available under Gold level plans for children under the age of 17, and carries a lifetime maximum instead of an annual limit.
Platinum-level dental insurance plans increase coverage to 70% for basic services and 40% for major procedures. All fillings, for example, are eligible for 70% coverage regardless of number or price, and all crowns are covered at 40% regardless of the materials.
Ameritas also allows you to carry over your benefits through the Dental Rewards program. It is designed to support members who don’t meet their annual maximum, but want to save as much as possible. If you qualify, you can carry over up to $1,000 of your leftover maximum for the next year’s claims. This provides an extra level of protection in case unforeseen expenses arise.
Overall, these plans emphasize regular dental checkups to promote good oral health and reduced costs. Dental health benefits mean the average member is more likely to visit a dentist sooner rather than later, hence the emphasis on prevention.
Ameritas dental insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening; any lost or stolen appliances; or anything that isn’t explicitly listed in the table of dental procedures for your plan. For the types of dental insurance that do cover cosmetic dentistry, visit this article.
To learn more about dental insurance plan levels, read this article about the metal levels used to categorize health insurance.
Ameritas has one of the largest dental insurance networks in the United States, with over 557,000 access points nationwide. As a PPO, you are able to see any dentist you want, but you save more when sticking to the network.
Dental plans by Ameritas have no waiting period for basic and preventive services, with coverage beginning the next day. Preventive care, including checkups and cleanings, is 100% covered too as long as you see an in-network dentist. Even better, there are no enrollment fees to create extra expenses.
Altogether, these factors make Ameritas dental insurance perfect when you need coverage fast.
You can search for clinics that support Ameritas’ dental coverage through their website, and pin three at a time to compare their costs. The most cost-effective providers are highlighted in green. All listings include clinics’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, opening hours, and whether or not they accept new patients.
Clicking on the list of providers at each location reveals their names and specialties. One example of this is the large Sawgrass Mills Mall Dental PA. There are general dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, prosthodontists, and oral surgeons available in-network for you at this clinic.
For example, a search for Broward County, Florida yields 5,416 providers in the Classic PPO Network, and 1,622 providers for the Value plans. On the other hand, searching for dental coverage in Portland, Oregon, only yields 62 providers. The largest clinic is Emergency Dental Downtown PC, with a number of general dentists, as well as an endodontist and orthodontist.
Customers aged over 65 have an average discount of 31% when using Ameritas dental plans, with a 41% network utilization. Older members do not have to worry about enrollment fees, and have the same benefits as younger customers.
However, over 40% of American seniors currently have no dental insurance, despite the average dental bill of $1,154 each year. The main benefits of dental plans center around the preservation of your natural teeth, with cleaning, protective treatment, and fillings to prevent the need for dentures.
Approximately 8.3% of women and 6.9% of men aged 65 and over had unmet needs for dental care due to cost
You do not have to worry about unexpected health care costs if you are semi-retired, work part-time, or are a contractor. Through individual insurance, you can gain dental and vision benefits instantly, without having to search for them on your own. If you’re moving, you can also keep your benefits when the location of your workplace changes.
Being employed, but not eligible for employer-sponsored coverage can still grant you access to Ameritas dental benefits. Additionally, you can still receive coverage through individual dental insurance if you are retired or self-employed.
Why is good oral health so important? Oral health has a number of consequences for your overall health, with research suggesting that periodontitis is linked to common chronic illnesses that increase with age through raising systemic inflammation. They include cardiovascular disease, endocarditis, diabetes, kidney disease, and even higher risk of pneumonia.
The cost of dental insurance plans from Ameritas, like other companies, varies by location and type of plan.
For example, a search on a third-party site for a 30-year-old woman living in Broward County, Florida reveals a $48.34 monthly premium if she purchases the Silver Fusion Hybrid Plan. As a PPO dental insurance plan, this is more expensive than a DHMO, in exchange for greater freedom of choice. This is also comparable to other PPO plans of the same level.
The Gold FUSION Hybrid Plan costs $60.00 per month for individual dental insurance. This has the highest annual maximum, at $2,000. Her monthly premium for the Platinum FUSION Hybrid Plan is marginally lower at $59.53, with an annual maximum of $1,500.
As for the Value FUSION Hybrid Plan, she can expect to pay $21.81 per month for individual dental insurance. This has a lower annual maximum, at $1,000 per person.
A search on the Ameritas’ MyPlan tool for the zip code 11102 in Astoria, NY reveals a PrimeStar Protect Network plan with a monthly premium of $57.68. With this plan, you have an annual maximum of $1,200 per year after a deductible of $50. You receive two cleanings and examinations each year at 100% coverage, plus 50% coverage for basic and major procedures.
After one year, basic coverage (for fillings and simple extractions) increases to 80%. There is also a one-year waiting period for children’s orthodontic care. If you would like to add vision insurance, you pay an extra $10.67 per month.
Some types of dental insurance differ in that they run on an annual fee in exchange for discounts on all services; read this article on dental discount plans to learn more.
What are others around the internet saying about Ameritas dental insurance?
On Google, there are mixed reviews when searching for the Ameritas Mutual Holding Company offices. Some received quality customer service, while others did not find the coverage they were looking for:
High levels of customer service and member and provider retention are signs of a “good” dental insurance plan, here’s what makes Ameritas stand out:
Since 2006, Ameritas insurance plans have held the Benchmark Portal’s Center of Excellence Award for their claims contact center associates. This is a rare achievement that only a handful of companies have managed.
From Monday to Thursday, you can contact the company about dental insurance claims from anywhere between 7 am to midnight, Central Time (or until 6:30 on Fridays). This may allow you to contact them immediately in cases of emergency if they happen on weeknights. Ameritas offers translation services if English isn’t your first language and Spanish-speaking associates.
Regardless of when you call, you can expect your dental claims to be processed in nine business days, and almost all (97%) of callers see their issues resolved the first time. It is rare that you will need to call again.
In 2021, Ameritas Mutual Holding Company remained one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States. A total of 8 million Americans held dental and vision insurance by Ameritas, alongside other insurance plans.
The Ameritas network of dentists has a low turnover rate, at no more than 3% for over a decade. This means that your dentist has an over 97% chance of staying in the network during the next year, so the level of benefits you can receive remains the same. Changes to patient circumstances do not necessarily affect coverage, as Ameritas aims to retain customers.
What is Ameritas dental insurance, and how can potential members learn more?
The Ameritas Customer Service line is (800) 300-9566, which you can call for questions including the verification of your benefits.
Yes, Ameritas dental insurance plans all have a PPO structure. You can visit any dentist, but enjoy significantly more savings when you stick to the network providers.
Silver and Gold level dental insurance plans cover a scheduled benefit for oral surgery, which is anywhere between $80 and $130 with a Gold level coverage. Value plans do not cover oral surgery.
Ameritas mutual holding company offers quality insurance plans, including dental and vision policies. Their dental plans are highly recommended to those who generally never reach their annual maximum thanks to low needs or prioritizing regular dental checkups and would like extra coverage in return. They also fit those who need next-day coverage or want to avoid waiting periods.