The health insurance plans in India do not offer any individual coverage for dental problems. However, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) announced in August 2018 that dental treatments will now be a part of the health insurance policy even if they do not require hospitalisation .
In order to make individual dental insurance a reality in India, the IRDA asked the insurance companies to remove dental treatments from the list of non-payable items used by the health insurance companies.
The huge medical expenses that people have to bear these days are gradually increasing the need of health insurance policies. To provide coverage for dental treatments, some health insurance plans are structured in such a way that they include certain dental issues. These cases can be either diagnostic or preventive, and only a part of the expenditure is covered.
Dental Treatment Coverage in Health Insurance Policies
The available options offer a partial coverage for some of the dental treatments, and they never provide coverage for cosmetic dental treatments. The regular checkups to the dentists and the common treatments like scaling of teeth are completely covered. Other treatments like a root canal, teeth capping and teeth whitening are partially covered. There are assured benefits and discounts for major treatments like implants and bracing in some policies. The treatments not covered in the policies are quite expensive and can increase the cost of the coverage provided by insurance companies on a large scale.
Health insurance companies cover dental expenses partially in their health insurance plans. Only LIC Health Insurance plan provides full coverage for dental expenses. Even ICIC Prudential and Birla Sun Life offer significant coverage for dental treatment. Some of the plans that provide dental coverage are:
• Bharti AXA: This company provides a family policy called Smart Health which provides coverage for medical expenses for a family as a whole. The dental coverage provided under this policy is only if the damage to teeth is caused by accident. Other aspects covered in this scheme are critical treatments, both costs post, and pre-hospitalization and domiciliary treatment, etc.
• State Bank of India: SBI is another leading brand in the Indian financial market and has a lot of attractive products for its customers. It has a health insurance plan called the SBI Life Smart Insurance, and it provides coverage for dental expenses until and unless there is accidental damage to teeth. The policy covers daycare treatments and a variety of hospitalization as well as surgical expenses significantly.
• LIC Health Insurance: Its health insurance plan “LIC Health Protection Plus” is a family plan that provides complete coverage for dental treatment and procedures. This plan involves a ULIP cash component, benefits in hospitalization and significant surgery benefits.
• Apollo Munich: Apollo Munich has an individual health insurance plan called Maxima health, and it also provides dental coverage as long as there is no accidental damage. It only covers illnesses, and regular treatments and no other major benefits are involved in the policy.
• Bajaj Allianz: Bajaj Allianz provides a health insurance plan called the Health Guard Policy that provides dental cover except for accidental damage. Other coverages provided by the policy involve the hospitalization expenses for accidents and illnesses.
• Birla Sun Life: Birla Sun Life has a plan called the Saral Health Plan that you can avail any time till the age of 65 years. This individual health policy and states that the dental procedures, surgeries, and check-ups are covered and provides cover for the usual medical costs if provided with bills of the same.
• Chola MS: This company covers the dental expenses only in its travel insurance plan that covers the dental treatment costs incurred while traveling. This plan has Annual Multi-trip, Gold and Silver plans that have comprehensive as well as basic coverage options.
• ICIC Prudential: ICIC Prudential has a plan called Health Saver and is an individual health insurance policy. This
scheme provides coverage to the insured for dental surgeries treatments and consultation. It helps to receive reimbursement for diagnostic costs, medicines and other healthcare expenditure.
India and Dental Insurance
India is a country where most insurance companies do not account for dental problems and do not cover dental treatment in health insurance policies. Certain insurance options are available, but they cover only certain aspects of dental treatment and do not cover any type of cosmetic dental treatments. These options are again a part of the health insurance policies and standalone policies are available in the market.
Certain dental treatment providers like Axiss Dental offer coverage to their patients to an extent. The lack of awareness among Indian population about visiting a dentist regularly is apparent. One of the main challenges here is that dental treatments and surgeries are so expensive that it is very difficult for people to incur those costs without an insurance coverage. The negligence of the Indian people towards dental treatments and its costs are mainly because they are unaware of the possible expenditure on dental treatments.