MetLife is an insurance company that offers policies for life, health (in particular accident and disability), dental, vision, and pet insurance.
When you’re looking for dental insurance, you want the best value you can get with the most treatments covered. High coverage, high annual maximums, and low annual deductibles are essential, along with coverage for major procedures and orthodontic care.
Let’s look at MetLife dental insurance, which may offer the plans you’ve been looking for.
MetLife has several dental insurance HMO and PPO plans available.
|Recommended For||Not Recommended For|
|Employees who expect to change jobs in the near future.||Those looking for cosmetic dental insurance.|
|Veterans looking for a comprehensive plan.||Orthodontic patients seeking alternatives to traditional metal braces.|
|Federal employees needing orthodontic treatment.|
MetLife dental insurance has several plans that suit individuals, including HMO plans. This means you can take your insurance policy with you if you change jobs, retire, or become self-employed. Most options are PPO insurance plans, and some have features that aren’t always found in other companies’ insurance policies.
If you aren’t impressed with HMO or PPO plans and would like to read more about a traditional type of dental insurance plan, read this article on dental indemnity insurance.
MetLife Dental offers an HMO plan for people living in California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Texas. Like other HMO dental insurance plans, you choose a primary dentist when you enroll. There are no deductibles that you need to meet, no annual maximum, and you do not need to submit any claims, making it a convenient insurance plan.
Each state that offers this HMO plan has its own policy for emergency care. However, you will receive some coverage even if you need a dentist over 50 miles away from your primary care provider, and often if they are out-of-network too.
As for prevention, members of MetLife’s Managed Care Plan also have access to an Oral Fitness Library. This provides education on dental health, answering questions that you may not have had time to ask your dentist.
To learn more about HMO plans, one of the major types of dental insurance, read more here.
MetLife Dental also offers PPO plans, which give you more freedom by providing coverage to out-of-network dentists too. However, you still save more money when you stay in the network, like other dental PPO insurance plans. There is no paperwork on your side, as your dentists are responsible for submitting your claims.
Additionally, preventive care is 100% covered when you choose an in-network dentist. This last point is essential to many customers, as one common reason why people leave dental care too late (when major treatment is required, instead of prevention) is because of the costs when accessing care without insurance.
Out of all types of dental insurance, PPO plans are the most common in the US today; learn more in this article.
If you’re thinking of changing jobs or otherwise cannot rely on an employer’s dental coverage, TakeAlong Dental is insurance you can purchase yourself, and carry with you. It is available in both HMO and PPO plans.
For the TakeAlong Dental plan, MetLife has negotiated service fees that are 36% cheaper than average. Since it’s a PPO, you are also able to access out-of-network dentists at a higher cost, and you can get coverage for “hundreds” of procedures and services.
If you’re a veteran enrolled in the VA Health Care System, you are eligible for the Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program (VADIP). The VADIP covers veterans living in the United States, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, The Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
US federal employees may be eligible for the Federal Dental Plan by MetLife. This comes with a number of benefits, for example, you are 100% covered for checkups and cleaning when you choose an in-network dentist, and there is no deductible. Altogether, it leaves you with no out-of-pocket costs.
Unlike most other dental insurance plans, there is no annual maximum, so you won’t be left high and dry if you need major treatment. Perhaps best of all is the coverage for adult orthodontic treatment, at a $2,000 lifetime maximum for adults on the Standard option, and up to $3,000 if you choose the High option. There is also no waiting period.
MetLife dental insurance plans can accommodate couples and families too, including the Federal and Veterans Affairs policies. Here’s how they differ when it comes to care for your children.
Also known as the Safeguard HMO, MetLife’s dental HMO provides flexibility that you may not find in other managed care plans. Each family member can choose their own primary care dentist within the network. If you need a specialist, it is also possible to choose your own practitioner if you don’t want your dentist’s original recommendation.
MetLife’s PPO dental plans provide 50% coverage for orthodontic care, but only for children and teenagers up to 19 years old. However, these services have a 12-month waiting period and a $1,000 lifetime maximum, and you must select the High option. Your children can also receive coverage for topical fluoride treatments, sealants, and space maintainers.
MetLife TakeAlong dental plans can accommodate families and have certain allowances reserved for your children. Space maintainers are covered up until the age of 14, while sealants and preventive resin restoration are available up to the age of 19.
MetLife’s VADIP is a great option for families with dependent children because it offers a high lifetime maximum for orthodontic care. If you choose the High option, your child can receive a maximum coverage of $3,000, at a coverage rate of 50%. However, there is a 24-month waiting period. Children under 16 can also be covered for sealants.
You can also purchase the Federal Dental Plan for yourself and your partner, or sign up for a family plan. This will cover your children up to the age of 22, including foster and step-children. The lifetime maximum for children’s orthodontic care is $5,000, whether or not you choose an in-network provider.
MetLife has negotiated fees that are, on average, 30–45% less than your typical price for dental care. This means that in-network dentists have agreed to charge 30–45% less than the expected price for the same service in their local area.
Most teeth cleaning and dental examinations are 100% covered, so you don’t have to worry about paying for preventive treatment. As for fillings, a dentist’s standard fee may be $179, for example. If the negotiated fee is $82 and you have 80% coverage, you may only pay $16.40.
Looking at more major treatments, the costlier root canals may cost $1,446 when paid in full at the usual rate. At a negotiated fee of $662 and 80% coverage, your out-of-pocket costs could only be $132.40.
Another example given by MetLife is receiving one dental amalgam filling from an in-network provider, as a member of the Federal dental plan. Here, the usual charge of $108.00 is decreased to $60.00 because of the insurance plan’s contract. If no annual maximum has been reached and all deductibles (if any) have been paid, your out-of-pocket costs are only $2.00.
On the other hand, if you purchase the same type of filling from an out-of-network dentist, you may pay $38.00 when MetLife’s Federal health insurance is the first payor.
Your monthly premiums vary depending on your zip code. For example, individual rates for Federal dental plan members living in the 11102 zip code are $30.72 for the Standard option, and $57.85 for the High option. If you are purchasing a plan for your family, monthly rates are $92.19 for a Standard plan and $173.53 for the High option.
When comparing the costs of different plans, it’s important to know that dental insurance plan levels affect both your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
MetLife dental insurance offers a comprehensive range of services from professionals signing up to their network. One measure of quality is the number of dentists who have agreed to participate in the network, which affects how easy it is to access services.
MetLife maintains a dental network of thousands of practitioners, making it easy for you to find the right dentist to fit your needs. Their online directory lists not only names and addresses, but also languages spoken, specialties, whether they are taking new patients, and if they are accessible to people with disabilities.
MetLife has an extensive range of in-network dentists around the US. For example, searching for the zip code 33332 yields a total of 9,149 dentists under their PPO plan within 25 miles. Searching for dentists within 25 miles of the zip code 11102 yields 20,067 results, due to the high population density.
When searching for in-network dentists under HMO plans, there are 1,864 dentists available to those living in the 33332 zip code (Broward County, Florida). There are 933 participating dentists within 25 miles of the 11102 zip code in Astoria, New-York.
If you need emergency treatment, that is easy to access too. Every in-network dentist either provides emergency care or can point you in the right direction so you can find it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As for finding a specialist, if you have chosen an HMO plan through MetLife, it is easy to find a provider. Most plans have a direct referral structure, so you can call an in-network specialist and book the appointment yourself. You do not need any pre-authorization, which gives you some of the autonomy that a (more expensive) PPO plan provides.
However, there are only a few types of dental insurance that do cover cosmetic procedures, which are mostly dental discount plans.
Here are the most important things you need to know about MetLife dental insurance.
Some plans do not have a waiting period, such as the Federal dental insurance plans. Others, such as the PPO insurance plan, do. Type B services, including fillings and X-rays, have a six-month waiting period, while the Type C treatments (e.g. dentures and bridges) and orthodontic care have a 12-month waiting period before you can make a claim.
MetLife dental insurance offers both HMO and PPO options. However, the HMO plans are only available in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. All other plans are based on the PPO structure.
MetLife offers PPO dental insurance for most of its plans, including the TakeAlong option, Veterans Affairs, and Federal dental plan.
Yes, crowns are classified as a Major Class C procedure, but coverage varies by plan type. For example, the TakeAlong HMO plan leaves you with only $245 as a copayment, regardless of what materials are used.
The cost of braces depends on your plan type, whether your plan covers orthodontic care for children or adults, and if you do receive coverage, whether there is a lifetime maximum (which varies by plan too). For example, a copay schedule for the dental HMO plan lists a price of $725 for “limited” treatment and $1,450 for comprehensive treatment.
As for coverage, you receive 50% coverage for orthodontic care from Metlife’s VADIP and Federal dental insurance plans and are likely to pay 75% of the “usual, customary and reasonable (UCR) rate in some others.
You can call MetLife Dental Insurance at 1-800-METLIFE, or 1-800-6385433.
If you purchase the Federal dental plan, MetLife will issue you an ID card that you must bring to every appointment.
MetLife dental insurance offers a range of plans to fit both individuals and families. While many of these are only available through your employer, the TakeAlong option allows you to bring your plan with you if you intend on moving.
With a large number of in-network dentists and services covered across both HMO and PPO plans, MetLife can provide you with comprehensive coverage. The exceptions to this, however, are if you seek non-traditional orthodontic care or cosmetic procedures, or work for a private employer who does not offer dental plans from this insurance company.