Preparing for open enrollment: Dental Insurance

Dental insurance open enrollment is approaching fast. Are you ready for it?

Open enrollment refers to a period of time, usually near the end of the year, when you can sign up for benefits or make changes to your current insurance plans and employee benefits. This may be one of the only times during the year when you can make changes to existing coverage or opt-out of benefits.

Whether it’s your first time or you’re an experienced participant, it’s always a good idea to be prepared before the next open enrollment period begins. Use this guide when preparing for dental insurance open enrollment.

Why is dental insurance open enrollment a big deal?

Open enrollment is important because it gives employees or individuals the chance to review and change their benefits based on their specific needs. It’s your chance to select dental insurance plans, add or remove dependents, choose coverage levels, and make other benefit-related decisions.

Tips for preparing for dental insurance open enrollment

Taking the time to prepare for open enrollment before it starts will make the process easier and more manageable. Use the tips below to get ready.

  • Review current coverage
    • Before open enrollment starts, go over your current coverage and benefits, if you have them, to see if they fit your needs. If they don’t, write down notes that will help you when it’s time to choose your new plan(s).
  • Determine your needs
    • After evaluating your current coverage, consider any changes that may be coming. Do you have a dental procedure in the future that isn’t covered by your current dental plan? Do you have a child who needs dental insurance? These are some factors to consider before dental insurance open enrollment.
  • Seek guidance and do research
    • If your employer provides your dental benefits, they will typically supply information about the plans they offer. Often, employers will host informational meetings before open enrollment begins to help employees understand their options and the enrollment process. If your employer doesn’t offer this guidance, talk to an HR representative or benefits administrator to ask questions.
    • If you have an individual dental plan, contact the company’s customer service team to get answers to your questions or concerns. They should be able to guide you to the right dental plan for you.
  • Compare plans
    • Whether you have an employer-sponsored plan or individual plan, there may be options for coverage levels. It’s important to go through each plan option to understand things like network providers, costs, coverage, premiums, coverage limits, etc. These will give you an idea of what to expect for costs during the next year. Often, there are documents that compare plans side-by-side to make it easy to spot differences between them.
  • Create a checklist
    • As open enrollment gets closer, make a checklist. You may include things like the benefits you want to enroll in or any changes needed to your current plans. A through checklist helps make the enrollment process easier.
  • Know your timelines
    • Don’t miss dental insurance open enrollment because you had the dates wrong. Double check with your HR department or individual benefits provider and highlight the start and end dates for open enrollment on your calendar. Setting reminders on your smart device is also a great way to keep on top of timelines.
  • Take your time
    • Once it’s time to enroll, make sure you carefully read through everything. This is not the time to skim over things. If you have a partner, having them look over everything before submitting your selections is a good way to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

By following these steps, you can be well-prepared to make informed decisions about your benefits during the dental insurance open enrollment period.

Delta Dental of South Dakota offers a range of dental coverage options for employers and individuals. Learn more about our plans.