Many people are unaware of the waiting period for dental insurance. This is the time between when you first enroll in an insurance plan and when the coverage begins.
A waiting period for dental insurance is a period of time after you sign up for your plan before you can start using it.
It can be difficult to keep track of your waiting period, as it differs depending on whether you purchase individual or employer-sponsored or government-sponsored dental coverage.
Most insurers will require a waiting period before they start covering dental costs. Some waiting periods are only a few weeks or months while others are years. The length of the waiting period depends on the policy.
Most dental insurance policies have waiting periods ranging from two to four weeks before standard work can be performed. Depending on the insurance company, the waiting period for major care can start from the second year. These periods are set by insurers to ensure they benefit from a new account and to discourage people from applying for a new policy to cover impending proceedings.
On the other hand, some dental insurance companies will not pay for preventative procedures performed during the waiting period. Waiting periods can last anywhere from a few months to a full year depending on what you have in your dental plan and what that plan covers.
Why is there a waiting period?
Dental insurance companies choose to use a waiting period, so customers don’t buy dental insurance only when they have a lot of dental work. The other reason has to do with the fact that insurers want to prevent people from getting covered and then drop dental insurance after they have received dental treatment.
Once the waiting period is over, all the benefits are available to you, but it’s important to know which coverages fall under the waiting period.
In your dental plan, there are probably three groups of coverage:
Preventive: Preventative procedures may often not have a waiting period. For this reason, however, some benefits are available with a waiting period.
Basic: Basic procedures may have a waiting period of three to six months.
Major dental care: “Major” procedures may have a waiting period of 6 months to a year.
What is the waiting period for employer-sponsored dental insurance?
In most cases, the waiting period for employer-sponsored dental insurance is three months. This means that employees must wait three months from the start of their coverage before being entitled to benefits.
The waiting period is intended to prevent people from purchasing coverage only when they need dental care.
Sometimes, employer-sponsored dental plans don’t have waiting periods.
Yet, not all dental insurance companies have a waiting period for dental insurance. Dental insurance waiting times vary by company and by the insurer.
Billing during the waiting period by RAMQ
Anyone who is patient and/or waiting to be covered by the Quebec health insurance plan must pay for the health services they receive during this 3-month waiting period or take out private insurance.
Persons subject to the waiting period may be assisted by insured medical services in these special circumstances:
cases related to pregnancy, childbirth, or termination of pregnancy;
victims of spousal or family violence or sexual assault;
people with health problems of an infectious nature that have an impact on public health.