Choosing dental insurance is an often frustrating experience, with conflicting advice, confusing terms, and tediously written information. You want the best deal for your and your family’s needs, with a range of covered services and significant savings.
Spirit Dental and Vision Insurance may be the perfect provider for you. With high annual maximums and a wide range of customers supported, you can enjoy peace of mind regardless of who you work for and are often covered despite having maxed out your annual limits before.
With over two decades of experience, Spirit Dental has established a strong reputation in the dental insurance industry. According to our Spirit Dental reviews research team, the company offers considerable coverage for major dental issues, including bridgework, dental implants, and crowns.
To find out whether this insurance is right for you, our Spirit Dental reviews team has put together the main advantages and disadvantages.
One of the key benefits of Spirit Dental insurance is its no-waiting-period policy, which allows you to access dental services immediately after enrolling in a plan. This immediate coverage sets Spirit Dental apart from other insurance providers and ensures that you receive the dental care you need without any unnecessary delays.
If you have a dental problem that you can wait just a little while to treat (i.e. within the next two or three weeks, or even months), then other policies can still suit you. But life happens, and the six to 12-month waiting periods attached to coverage for major procedures such as surgery can be a disaster for patients who choose these plans.
Spirit Dental Insurance’s high annual maximums in some plans can make or break your ability to afford major procedures. For example, a single-tooth dental implant may cost anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000. If you know that an implant would likely benefit you, a plan with a $5,000 annual maximum could easily cover 50% of that cost.
Dental crowns are another high-cost procedure, with costs ranging from $800 to $18,000. Many plans offered by other companies will have their annual maximums, well, maxed out just by covering 50% of the procedure’s price. Wisdom teeth removal, which can be necessary if they cause severe pain, ranges from $600 to $2,900.
One of the main drawbacks of Spirit Dental Insurance is its premium rates, which tend to be higher compared to other dental insurance providers.
The monthly premiums for individual plans range from $20 to $110, making Spirit Dental a more expensive option for those seeking lower monthly premiums. There is also a $25 enrollment fee, which is non-refundable even if you’re within the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Another limitation our Spirit Dental reviews team found is the lack of coverage for adult orthodontia. If you require orthodontic treatment as an adult, you may need to explore alternative insurance options or consider paying for the treatment out of pocket.
Spirit Dental Insurance does not offer HMO plans for some. If you prefer the flexibility and cost savings associated with HMO plans, you may need to consider other dental insurance providers that offer this option.
HMO plans are often preferred for their lower costs, although you must visit in-network practitioners and choose a primary dentist to coordinate your care. There is often no annual maximum or waiting period, and your premiums are typically lower.
Spirit Dental includes both PPO and fee-for-service plans. Spirit Network Plans, like many PPOs, offer negotiated costs. For example, a procedure that may typically cost $5,000 could be available for just $4,000. Your 50% coverage rate then brings your final out-of-pocket bill down to $2,000.
On the other hand, you may find that the higher costs of Spirit’s Choice Plans, which run on a fee-for-service model, are worthwhile if it means more freedom of choice.
Spirit Dental offers two types of insurance plans: Network plans (PPO) and Spirit Choice plans. Network plans enable you to minimize out-of-pocket costs by choosing from in-network specialists, while Spirit Choice plans allow you to select your dentist and may cover 50% to 100% of costs.
Both Network and Choice plans come in three varieties: Secure, Core, and Pinnacle.
If you are looking for comprehensive coverage and are willing to pay a higher premium, our Spirit Dental reviews team suggests Pinnacle plans.
Plan availability may vary depending on your location. Certain plans may only be available in specific states or zip codes, so it is crucial to check the available plans in your area.
These coverage rates may sound great, but what are you getting? Dental plans vary in what procedures they cover, but Spirit, fortunately, offers support for a wider range of services. They even cover three cleanings every year, which may better protect you against cavities than typical twice-yearly cleaning.
Basic services include simple fillings, one X-ray annually, and space maintainers. If you have children on your plan, they get one fluoride treatment and sealants.
Major services include one diagnostic X-ray, periodontic care, endodontic treatment, simple extractions, implants, oral surgery, prosthetics (e.g. dentures or bridges), and restorative procedures (crowns, inlays, and onlays). If you have a history of dental issues or play contact sports, plans that give you greater coverage for these may be best.
The costs of treatment are estimated by the “reasonable and customary” fees in your local area. You may see a 90% usual and customary rate, for example, meaning that 90% of the dentists in your region won’t charge any more than this.
Spirit Dental offers family plans that provide coverage for each family member. Your children will retain their coverage under your plan until the age of 26, which can be helpful if they’re going to college and won’t be working full-time for a number of years.
All family plans cover three annual cleanings, two annual exams, 100% of preventive care, and a percentage of basic and major services. The most major procedures are generally 50% covered.
It is important to note that monthly premiums for family plans are typically higher than those for individual plans. Spirit’s Family Plans include PPO coverage, where you can choose out-of-network dentists. This carries higher out-of-pocket costs but can be beneficial if you want a specific professional.
To cover all members of your family, Spirit Dental Insurance’s family plans offer you up to $5,000 maximum every year. Additionally, each covered member of your family gets two checkups and three cleanings each year, as prevention is their priority.
For issues that aren’t necessarily avoidable, children’s orthodontic care, dental implants, and major services are covered, too.
If you’re raising a family, a solid dental plan is a must whether or not you can get coverage through your employer. Preventive care saves you money by helping you avoid serious, irreversible damage to your teeth. Not only are you paying for several people on one plan, but setting up healthy dental habits now can help your kids continue them later in life.
Research demonstrates how the benefits of preventive care add up over time. A study involving Medicaid recipients found that using preventive care for one year cut the annual cost of dental treatment by 10%, from $464 to $417. After five years of prevention, patients saved an average of $200, or 43% of what they would have otherwise paid for treatment .
Much of these savings were thanks to the prevention of oral surgery. Average patient expenses for oral surgery were $143.18 in the group with no years of preventive care, while it was just $16.77 among those who had used preventive dentistry for five years.
Spirit Dental offers individual plans that mirror the coverage provided by family plans. Just like family plans, individual plans cover the same number of cleanings, annual exams, and preventative care, plus a percentage (usually 50-80%) of basic, major, and orthodontic services.
Your monthly premium for an individual plan can cost anywhere from $36 to $70. Looking at the annual maximums you get with Spirit versus its competitors, these higher premiums are proportionate to the total benefits.
Individual plans are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals and ensure they have access to the necessary dental care. Depending on your plan, you can expect an annual maximum ranging from $1,200 to $5,000. With Spirit Dental, you can enjoy guaranteed acceptance, so there’s no stress over whether you’ll get coverage.
Spirit Core is one plan recommended for gig economy and service workers, as you receive a $1,200 annual maximum at great value. This may be a “budget” choice by Spirit standards, but it’s similar to some of the highest annual maximums offered by other insurance companies.
Worried you won’t get access to insurance? One advantage of Spirit Dental Insurance is that it supports gig workers, job searchers, and young adults looking for their first independent dental plan. You don’t have to sign up through your employer, giving you an extra layer of security if you change jobs.
Spirit Dental understands the evolving dental needs of seniors and offers two dedicated plans: Senior Preferred Network and Senior Preferred Choice. Both plans cover 100% of preventative care, up to three cleanings per year, 80% of the costs of basic services, and 50% of major services. Just like the family plans, you can enjoy up to $5,000 of coverage.
These plans can also include coverage for dental implants and hearing benefits. There is no upper age limit for enrollment in these plans, ensuring that you can access the dental care you require for life.
Senior Preferred is the best dental plan recommended by Spirit. You can enjoy a $3,500 annual maximum right away, and your hearing and vision add-ons only cost an extra $7. Secure is the first option offered to those on lower incomes who want peace of mind when paying for services such as cleanings. Pinnacle, on the other hand, gives you a $5,000 annual maximum after the third year but is the most expensive plan.
Senior Preferred Choice is a fee-for-service plan. Here, you pay your dentist first and then wait for your insurance to reimburse you. Many patients prefer this model, as you don’t have to worry about whether your dentist is in-network. Better still, the deal is between you and your dentist, with no middleman in the insurance company deciding if your treatment is “necessary.”
Senior Plans also feature increasing annual maximums for up to three years. For example, a 65-year-old, non-smoking woman in Kansas can expect to pay just over $31 per month for her plan. She can receive $1,200 in coverage during the first year, $2,500 in the second year, and $3,500 from her third year onwards with Spirit Dental Insurance.
Over one year, a $31 monthly fee comes to $372. Even just 80% of the cost of an average dental filling, which ranges from $200 to $600, could surpass the amount she pays in premiums. If she uses her insurance for a dental crown, she will save no less than $400. As a result, her Spirit Dental plan can cost less than the money she saves with just one procedure.
The cost of Spirit Dental Insurance varies depending on the plan type, state of residence, and other factors. Here is a general overview of what you can expect to pay for individual, two-person, and family plans:
The initial rates you pay for your plan will be fixed for at least 12 months. Afterward, Spirit will give you 30 days’ notice before any changes.
On top of this, all Spirit Dental insurance plans include a one-time, combined deductible of $100 for basic, preventive, and major services. It may only take one or two appointments before you use this deductible up, and then you’re set for the life of your plan.
The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. It is important to note that higher deductibles generally result in lower monthly premiums. While Spirit Dental insurance plans may have higher rates compared to other providers, the low lifetime deductible can save you money in the long run.
Another key factor in deciding on dental plans is how easy it is to sign up for and use them, so how does Spirit Dental Insurance measure up?
Spirit Dental and Vision Insurance is available in every U.S. state except Washington. When applying for a quote on the Spirit Dental website, you will be presented with various plan options available in your state. However, plan availability may vary depending on your location, and prices are influenced by the area where you reside.
As Spirit Dental Insurance is underwritten by Ameritas, you have access to the Ameritas Classic PPO Network. This is one of the largest provider networks in the United States, featuring over 111,500 unique providers across 428,000 access points.
Unlike other dental insurance providers, you don’t have to wait for the Open Enrollment period to sign up for Spirit’s plans. With Spirit Dental, you can enroll at any time instead of waiting for a roughly six-week period, commonly from November 1st to December 15th.
Besides your employer, your health is often yet another obstacle to gaining insurance. At Spirit, potential customers don’t have to worry about being rejected because of pre-existing conditions, so you don’t need to provide proof of health.
To contact Spirit Dental, you can reach out to a licensed agent by calling 844-833-8440, using the live chat feature on the website, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The company prides itself on its prompt customer service, with a claim of answering 98% of calls within 30 seconds or less.
If an agent is not available, you can leave a message with your contact information, and a customer service representative will reach out to you.
Spirit Dental’s website offers a user-friendly experience, making it easy to explore the available plans and enroll in coverage.
The homepage prominently features the key benefits of Spirit Dental’s plans and provides a straightforward application process. To request a quote, you only need to enter your ZIP code, and the website will display the available plans in your area, along with prices and downloadable brochures for more information.
It doesn’t take long to start receiving benefits. After signing up, your name will appear in the dental carrier’s system within two to three business days. As for your certificate of coverage and ID card to show providers, these will arrive in 10 business days by mail.
While the signup process is quick and simple, it can be challenging to find detailed information about the different plan types on the website. However, you can filter and compare plan features after requesting a quote. To access all the essential details, you may need to download the brochures provided on the website.
It is important to note that Spirit Dental’s website does not offer the option to create a user profile. This means that any modifications or cancellations to your plan need to be made by contacting the company through live chat, phone, or email. Although this is a little more inconvenient, you may have the opportunity to ask any questions you need.
While specific customer reviews for Spirit Dental Insurance are not readily available, the company claims to consistently score 4.8 out of 5 stars in customer satisfaction. Although the source of this rating is not disclosed, Spirit Dental Insurance places a strong emphasis on customer service and satisfaction.
The parent company, Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. It is important to note that the BBB customer reviews for Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation itself have a 1-star rating based on 20 customer reviews. However, many complaints concern customer service and other areas not directly related to dental insurance.
To ensure customer satisfaction, Spirit Dental Insurance provides a 30-day guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your plan within the first 30 days, you can cancel it, and your monthly premium will be fully refunded, provided no covered services have been utilized.
But what are customers on the web saying? One reviewer found that her plan, with a high annual maximum, ended up saving her far more than her annual premiums. The unexpected nature of her most major dental work also serves as a cautionary note: ignoring the need for quality insurance can cost you in the long term.
A second reviewer bought their Spirit Dental plan just in time. With no waiting period, their insurance was a lifesaver when they needed it the most. Three days is often too last-minute for other companies, but it’s a different story with Spirit:
A third reviewer also had a positive experience with Spirit Dental Insurance. He also notes that many negative experiences can be avoided by reading through all the documents you’re sent and double-checking if you’ve forgotten something.
Spirit Dental Insurance is among the best providers of dental plans, but how does it measure up next to its competition?
DentalPlans is a great alternative if your main concern is your budget. It’s essentially a large database, including Aetna, Cigna, CVS iSave, and more. You can also filter your search by procedure, a key advantage if you need adult orthodontic care, for example. DP CompleteCare is one such plan that covers children’s and adults’ orthodontic procedures.
The rates offered on DentalPlans start as low as $79.95 per year, while many other sites may cost you this same rate every two or three months. Better yet, you can add vision, prescriptions, telemedicine, chiropractic, and hearing services onto some plans.
1Dental provides dental discount plans, a less common type of insurance. Their upfront costs are generally cheaper than other dental insurance types, and you can use the plan as much as you need. With premiums ranging from $119 to $169, you get 15-60% off the cost of your dental care.
Unlike DentalPlans, you can only choose from Aetna, the 500 Series Careington Plan, and The Preferred Plan. Whether 1Dental is worthwhile for you depends on whether an at least 15% discount on dental care saves you more money than the cost of your premium.
Guardian Direct is your typical insurance provider. It offers tiers of coverage ranging from $15 to $37 per month, which include increasingly wider ranges of services as their premiums rise. You can receive 50% coverage for procedures including implants and children’s orthodontics, while preventative care is 80-100% covered.
However, Guardian Direct does not have the same advantages as Spirit Dental Insurance. Even their top-tier insurance plan has an annual maximum of $1,500 in the first year, for example. Many services, such as implants, have a 12-month waiting period, and some states even have waiting periods for basic care.
Here are the top questions that potential customers are asking about Spirit Dental Insurance.
Applying for Spirit Dental Insurance is a straightforward process. Start by requesting a quote on the Spirit Dental website. After entering your ZIP code and specifying who the coverage is for, you will be presented with a range of plan options available in your state. You can compare plan features and download brochures for more details.
Once you have selected a plan, proceed to the checkout window, where you will need to provide basic personal information and choose your preferred payment method. Spirit Dental guarantees the acceptance of your application, and you will receive your policy within ten days of enrollment.
If you need to cancel your Spirit Dental Insurance, you can do so at any time. To cancel your plan, you will need to contact the company via phone, email, or live chat on the website. Your coverage will end on the last day of the month, based on your billing date. Remember that the 30-day refund only applies if you’ve not spent any available funds on dental care.
Yes, Spirit Dental is both carried and underwritten by Ameritas. The key advantage of this is your access to one of the largest networks of providers in the US. However, its range of products and services on offer are by no means identical.
Yes, Spirit Dental Insurance is rated at 4.9/5 stars by Consumers Advocate and A+ by Standard & Poors. While the Ameritas group doesn’t always rate as highly in customer reviews, these are often directed at other services or the behavior of specific customer service staff.
Spirit Dental care includes your choice of providers and strong coverage in the event of major dental procedures. Additionally, their plans cover families, individuals, seniors, the employed or unemployed, retired, those looking for work, or freelancers.
Our Spirit Dental reviews team has found that the high annual maximums are perhaps Spirit’s most outstanding feature. Coverage for major procedures such as receiving a crown or implant or even simply needing fillings can save you more than what you pay in premiums.
However, there are a few downsides, like an upfront cost, no HMO option, and no orthodontic care for adults. Despite this, the company overall is a great place to get solid dental plans.
Okunev, Ilya et al. “The impact of underutilization of preventive dental care by adult Medicaid participants.” Journal of public health dentistry vol. 82,1 (2022): 88-98. doi:10.1111/jphd.12494.