UPDATE (PLEASE NOTE): This is a review article of a dental insurance plan. This website is not affiliated with Bright Idea Dental. In fact, we recommend other individual dental plans to our clients instead!
Most dental insurance plans are pretty similar to each other, but Bright Idea Dental is different.
Bright Idea is a new dental insurance plan being marketed nationwide. The plan was originally designed for seniors as a helpful policy to purchase alongside a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.
Now it’s available to anyone, both on an individual basis and for employer groups.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to Bright Idea Dental. It could be a decent fit for some people, but most people in South Carolina and Georgia may want to consider other options.
Advantages of Bright Idea Dental
Here are a few of the more unique features of Bright Idea Dental that will make it very attractive to a lot of people:
* Higher coverage limits. Most dental insurance plans typically have a maximum annual coverage amount in the range of $1,000-$1,500. A few may go as high as $2,000. Bright Idea Dental has the option to get a $3,000 maximum benefit, and if that’s not enough, they have a $5,000 option, which is basically unheard of in dental insurance plans!
* No waiting periods on basic services. You’ll get 100% coverage for preventive care and the standard 80% coverage on “basic services” from day one. There’s no waiting period and no “graduated benefits.”
Furthermore, if you’ve had prior dental coverage for at least 12 months, that will count towards the waiting period for “major services,” so you’d theoretically have no waiting periods at all.
*No deductibles. Bright Idea Dental has no deductibles to pay. You’ll simply pay a $25 copay for services.
* Dentures and implants are covered. Bright Idea Dental provides coverage for dental implants and for dentures as part of the coverage for major services.
Disadvantages of Bright Idea Dental
While the advantages of Bright Star Dental will be attractive to a lot of people, it’s not for everyone. Here are a few of the drawbacks:
* Network. The dental network can be an advantage if your dentist participates. In South Carolina, however, most independent dentists do not participate in these kinds of networks. While there are out-of-network benefits, you’ll find that you still have out-of-pocket costs. Check the Bright Idea Dental network of providers here.
* Price. We love the fact that Bright Idea Dental believes in a simple pricing structure that is the same regardless of age or geography. On the other hand, that kind of pricing structure will benefit some people but not others. Frankly, there are other dental plans with much better pricing available for most people in the states we serve.
Ultimately, for our clients, we don’t think the benefits are worth the cost. We suggest you consider other dental plans.
Who Could Buy Bright Idea Dental
As with many products, Bright Idea Dental will be a great fit for some people, if not everyone. Here are some people who might consider it:
* Seniors. We said at the top that Bright Idea Dental was originally designed for seniors, so this is no surprise. If you’re on Medicare (either Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement plan), Bright Idea could be an option. There are no age limits, the price is fixed, and dental implants and dentures are covered.
* People needing extensive dental work. Because preventive and basic services are covered on day 1, you’ll get help immediately if you need x-rays or work like extractions and sealants. If you need major work done, the ability to get $3,000 or even $5,000 in coverage is very attractive. (Keep in mind there is a 12-month waiting period on major work, but it will be waived if you’ve had continuous coverage elsewhere.)
Alternatives to Bright Idea Dental
The pricing for Bright Idea Dental is frankly not very competitive, and most people can get a decent dental plan at a better price elsewhere. Some will even give coverage immediately for basic or major services (with benefits increasing over time). Many of our clients prefer Renaissance Dental or Ameritas Dental.