Does Insurance Cover Veneers? How to Use Your Insurance for Dental Veneers
October 5, 2023
Dental veneers, thin shells made of porcelain or composite material that are bonded to the front of teeth, have become increasingly popular for those looking to improve their smile. Their ability to correct issues like discoloration, minor misalignments, or chips makes them a sought-after cosmetic procedure.
But, as with many dental treatments, especially cosmetic ones, understanding insurance coverage for veneers can be a challenge. This guide aims to provide clarity on the topic. We’ll cover exactly how and when veneers are covered by insurance and provide insights for people without insurance as well as medical billers and practices looking to help their patients get their veneers reimbursed.
When are veneers covered by insurance?
Given that veneers are often considered a cosmetic procedure, insurance coverage can sometimes be a gray area. Here’s a deeper dive into when dental veneers might be covered by insurance:
1. Medical Necessity vs. Cosmetic Desire:
- Cosmetic Procedures: Most dental insurance plans categorize veneers under cosmetic procedures. If you're getting veneers solely to improve the appearance of your smile (e.g., to correct a slight gap, minor misalignment, or discoloration), insurance is less likely to provide coverage.
- Medical Necessity: There are cases where veneers might be considered medically necessary. For instance, if a tooth is severely discolored due to trauma or medication, or if a tooth has lost significant structure and veneers are recommended to protect it from further damage, insurance might be more inclined to provide coverage.
2. Pre-existing Conditions:
- Some insurance plans have clauses about conditions that existed before the policy started. If the need for veneers was present before your coverage began, the insurance might not cover the costs. However, as insurance policies and regulations evolve, exclusions related to pre-existing conditions are becoming less common in some regions.
3. Inclusions and Exclusions in Your Specific Plan:
- Insurance plans vary widely in their coverage. While one plan might include veneers under specific conditions, another might exclude them entirely. It’s essential to review your policy’s inclusions and exclusions or consult with a representative from the insurance company.
4. Alternative Treatments:
- Insurance companies might evaluate the need for veneers against other possible treatments. If there's a less expensive procedure that achieves the same medical outcome (e.g., a crown or bonding), the insurance might favor that treatment over veneers.
5. Frequency Limitations:
- Even if an insurance plan does cover veneers due to medical necessity, there might be limits on how often they provide this coverage. For instance, if you've had a veneer on a particular tooth within a specific timeframe, the insurance may not cover a replacement for several years.
6. Deductibles, Copays, and Maximums:
- If veneers are covered under your plan, you still need to consider the policy's financial structure. You may have a deductible to meet before insurance starts to pay, or there may be a copay for the procedure. Additionally, all dental insurance plans have an annual maximum amount they will pay, and the cost of veneers can quickly approach or exceed these limits.
7. Pre-authorization Requirements:
- Some insurance plans require pre-authorization before undergoing specific procedures. If you think your veneers might be medically necessary and thus potentially covered, it’s a good idea to get pre-authorization to avoid unexpected costs.
It’s imperative to maintain open communication with both your dentist and insurance provider when considering veneers. If the dentist believes there's a strong medical rationale for the procedure, they can provide documentation or x-rays to the insurance company to support the claim. Always ensure that you understand your policy's stipulations and any out-of-pocket costs you might incur.
Are out-of-network veneers covered by insurance?
The coverage for veneers, or any other procedure, performed by an out-of-network dentist typically depends on your insurance plan:
- HMO Plans: Health Maintenance Organization plans usually restrict coverage to in-network dentists, meaning out-of-network procedures like veneers are rarely covered.
- PPO Plans: Preferred Provider Organization plans might cover a portion of out-of-network procedures. However, the coverage percentage is typically lower than if you were to see an in-network dentist, leading to higher out-of-pocket expenses.
If you decide to see an out-of-network dentist for veneers, SuperBill for insurance can help! We file out-of-network claims on your behalf, and we follow up with your insurer to make sure you get the best reimbursement possible. If you’re a medical biller or dentist looking to offload the tedious reimbursement process, we’ve got you covered too!
Does dental insurance cover veneers differently depending on your plan?
Absolutely. Dental insurance plans vary in their terms, coverage levels, and exclusions:
Different plans might have varying definitions of what constitutes "medically necessary," which can influence whether veneers are covered.
The percentage of the cost covered can differ. While one plan might cover 50% of the cost (in cases deemed medically necessary), another might cover 70% or not at all.
Some plans have waiting periods, especially for more expensive procedures, even if they're medically necessary.
How to find dental veneers covered by insurance
Navigating the world of dental insurance can be daunting, especially when seeking coverage for specific treatments like veneers. Here's a detailed guide to help you explore potential insurance coverage for dental veneers:
1. Understand Your Needs:
- Type of Veneers: Veneers come in different types, primarily porcelain and composite. Understand which one you need or prefer, as insurance might have different stipulations for each.
- Medical Necessity: If veneers are required due to medical reasons, such as repairing a damaged tooth, they might be more likely covered than if they're for purely cosmetic reasons.
2. Review Your Policy Document:
- The first step is to thoroughly review your current dental insurance policy's Summary of Benefits. This document provides a detailed breakdown of what treatments and procedures are covered, and to what extent.
- Look for sections related to "cosmetic procedures" or "restorative treatments".
3. Contact Your Insurance Provider:
- Sometimes, the best way to get clarity is the direct approach. Call your insurance company's customer service line, typically listed on the back of your insurance card.
- Ask them directly about their policy regarding veneers. Questions to consider include: Are veneers covered at all? Are there circumstances under which they would be covered? How much is covered?
4. Pre-treatment Estimates:
- Many dental offices offer to send a pre-treatment estimate to your insurance company. This means the dentist outlines the proposed treatment, and the insurance company will respond with what they'll cover and what your out-of-pocket cost might be.
- This doesn't guarantee coverage, but it gives a clearer picture of potential costs.
5. Check for In-network vs. Out-of-network Dentists:
- Insurance plans usually have a list of in-network providers. You'll often receive better coverage by using an in-network dentist.
- If you're considering a dentist who isn't on your plan, ask about out-of-network coverage. Coverage is typically lower, and out-of-pocket costs higher, but it's still worth checking.
6. Explore Alternative or Supplemental Insurance:
- If your primary dental insurance doesn't cover veneers, you might consider purchasing supplemental cosmetic dental insurance. Some providers or plans specialize in offering coverage for cosmetic procedures.
7. Read Customer Testimonials and Forums:
- Sometimes, the best insights come from those who've tread the path before. Online forums, blogs, or customer testimonials can provide anecdotal evidence and tips on insurance companies that are known to cover dental veneers.
8. Get Multiple Consultations:
- If possible, consult with multiple dental offices. Different dentists might have varied experiences with insurance coverage for veneers. They may also have partnerships with specific insurance providers or offer in-house financing or discounts.
9. Periodic Updates and Policy Renewals:
- Insurance policies can change. Just because veneers aren't covered in your current plan doesn't mean they won't be in the future. Keep an eye on policy updates or consider exploring new insurance options at renewal time.
In conclusion, while dental veneers are often classified as a cosmetic procedure and not always covered by standard dental insurance, there are pathways to potentially get some coverage or financing help. Being proactive, researching thoroughly, and maintaining open communication with both your dentist and insurance provider are key to navigating this journey effectively.
What to do if you can’t afford dental veneers
If veneers are beyond your financial reach, even with insurance, consider these options:
- Payment Plans: Many dental offices offer financing options or payment plans to spread the cost over time.
- Alternative Treatments: Composite bonding or dental crowns might be more affordable and achieve similar aesthetic results.
- Dental Schools: Some dental schools offer procedures, including veneers, at reduced rates as part of their training programs.
- Save and Budget: If veneers are essential for you, consider creating a savings plan specifically for this purpose. Setting aside funds regularly can make the cost more manageable over time.
In conclusion, while dental veneers are primarily viewed as a cosmetic procedure by insurance companies, understanding the nuances of your specific insurance plan can help you assess potential coverage options. Always ensure open communication with both your insurer and your dentist to make informed decisions about your dental health and aesthetics.
How SuperBill helps with veneer reimbursement
Whether you’re a patient with out-of-network benefits or a dental practice or specialized dental biller, SuperBill may be able to help! SuperBill verifies patients’ dental benefits, then files and tracks their out-of-network claims. We will provide updates on the status of claims at every interval, and do everything in our power to get them reimbursed. We even help with bill negotiation!
You can jump through all the hoops to make sure you get your dental veneers covered by insurance, OR you can let SuperBill for insurance handle it. We have worked with countless dental patients, practices, and billers to take the reimbursement burden off their plates.