Aetna Dental
Caption: Aetna Dental

Aetna Dental Review

Aetna is well-known for providing medical, dental, prescription and disability insurance, among other financial products. Aetna Dental offers three dental insurance plans and a dental discount plan, explained later in this review. Aetna Dental covers over 14 million members, and the company also provides Medicare supplement insurance with dental benefits not normally offered through Medicare.

Not keeping up with preventive dental treatments impacts your overall health significantly. Most general dental care isn’t expensive, but the cost adds up when you need an advanced procedure. Dental insurance and dental discount plans make routine and advanced dental care affordable.

Pros
  • Often more affordable compared to other dental insurance providers
  • Many issues can be handled quickly using online tools on Aetna’s website
  • Several coverage levels
  • Assistance programs for those who may have trouble paying premiums or dental bills
  • Extensive network of dental practices

Cons
  • Contacting a customer service agent can turn into a round of phone tag
  • Less dental-related prescription coverage than many other insurance companies

With Aetna dental insurance, the entire cost of cleanings is covered either once or twice a year, depending on the policy. Coverage for common procedures like root canals or fillings falls between 70 and 90 percent depending on the plan. More expensive dental procedures or orthodontic operations are covered up to an annual maximum. As is the case for all dental insurance, Aetna dental plans options vary by state. Aetna dental insurance is available as an add-on to company-sponsored health insurance in most states but is only available as a standalone policy in others, which results in higher premiums.

Aetna Dental Insurance Plans

Aetna offers three dental insurance plans, each with different primary benefits. The most affordable plan limits you to seeing one specific dentist while the pricier plans have a broader range of options. In addition to dental insurance, Aetna offers the Dental Access dental discount plan.

  • The Dental Maintenance Organization plan is a low-cost dental insurance plan that allows the insured to choose their primary dentist. Seeing a specialist requires a referral. There are no deductibles or annual maximums with the DMO plan, and once you choose a primary dentist, you can’t switch to another provider for a year.

  • Aetna’s Preferred Provider Organization plan is known as a PPO or Participating Dental Network plan. Using the PPO plan, the insured can visit any dentist they choose without a referral. Using an in-network dentist costs less, but if you decide to go out of network, there’s still coverage for part of the bill. A PPO plan has deductibles and annual maximums.

  • The Dental Indemnity plan lets you choose any licensed dentist in the country without choosing one as your primary. There is no network, and you do not need any referrals with this plan. The Dental Indemnity Plan offers the highest level of coverage, and also has the highest deductibles and annual maximums.

Aetna Dental Insurance Policies
Policy Features
Dental Maintenance Organization (DMO)
Budget Plan
  • You choose a primary to use for the year
  • Referral required for specialists
  • No deductibles or annual maximums
  • Covers 100% preventive and 75% orthodontic with no maximum
Preferred Provider (PPO)
Family-friendly
  • Visit any dentist, but pay less to see an in-network provider
  • No referrals required
  • In-Network Deductibles: $50 individual / $150 family
  • Out of Network Deductibles: $100 individual / $300 family
  • Covers 100% preventive care
  • $2,000 orthodontic in-network or $1,500 out of network, lifetime maximum
Dental Indemnity Plan
Most Flexible
  • See any dentist, any time
  • No out of network costs
  • No referrals required
  • Highest coverage
  • High deductibles, amounts vary

Aetna Dental handles most customer service through a secure portal on their website where you can view your benefits and other information and get help. You are also welcome to call customer service at the number on your Aetna dental insurance card.

Aetna Dental Access Dental Discount Plan

About 160,000 dentists across the nation accept Aetna’s Dental Access dental discount program for seniors and those with no dental insurance. Dental Access members get discounts of 15 percent to 50 percent on most dental procedures. One of the main benefits of the plan is there’s no waiting period, so you immediately qualify for discounts on root canals, crowns or other dental procedures you may not want to wait to have completed.

In comparison, almost all dental insurance has a waiting period before you can have any work done, to ensure you don’t wait until you need substantial dental work before buying insurance. Costs and plan pricing depends on your area. We tested out costs in Tulsa, Oklahoma and a cleaning costs about $60 with the Dental Access plan. Plan premiums cost $99 per year for an individual, $149 per year for two members and $179 per year for three members in Tulsa.

dental insurance

Source: Getty

Aetna Dental Complaints

After reviewing online reviews, the majority of complaints about Aetna revolve around their customer service representatives over the phone. However, the online options for contacting customer service seem to resolve issues quickly.

Aetna insurance company has an ‘A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau, but only an average 1-star review from customers. There were 178 complaints in the past 12 months, but Aetna resolved each one. The majority of problems stemmed from people being unable to contact customer service quickly. Aetna rates an average 1.25 out of 5 stars on ConsumerAffairs and a 4 out of 5 stars with the Aetna insurance company has an ‘A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau, but only an average 1-star review from customers. There were 178 complaints in the past 12 months, but Aetna resolved each one. The majority of problems stemmed from people being unable to contact customer service quickly. Aetna rates an average 1.25 out of 5 stars on ConsumerAffairs and a 4 out of 5 stars with the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Aetna Dental Q&A

  • Is a referral required to see an orthodontist with Aetna Dental?
    A referral is not necessary to see an orthodontist if you have Aetna dental insurance, but the orthodontist must be in the Aetna network.

  • Is a tooth extraction considered a medical procedure or a dental procedure on Aetna’s plans?
    In most cases, Aetna considers tooth extraction as a dental procedure even during surgery. A few exceptions depend on your plan though, so it’s best to give Aetna a call if you aren’t sure.

  • Aetna dental

    Source: Getty
  • Does Aetna Dental cover tooth-colored composite fillings?
    Aetna plans cover composite fillings, but some policies only cover these fillings on teeth that are visible.

  • How can I know if Aetna dental insurance covers a procedure?
    To be sure a procedure is covered, have your dentist send a pre-treatment statement (also called a pre-determination) to Aetna. Aetna will send you documentation showing what your insurance will pay for the procedure.

  • Does Aetna Dental cover missing teeth?
    If you lose a tooth before your Aetna dental coverage begins, there’s a chance that replacing it will not be covered. This rule applies to dentures, bridges and dental implants.

Concluding Thoughts on Aetna Dental

The National Association of Dental Plans estimates that 25 percent of Americans go without dental insurance, which drives up dental care costs later in life. Statistics show that those who have dental insurance benefits have markedly improved overall health. Aetna provides affordable dental insurance options to lower the expense of any dental procedures you need significantly. If you can’t afford dental insurance, you should look into Aetna’s assistance programs.

But before you buy, don’t miss the chance to learn more about the best dental insurance options and how to buy.

Aetna Dental Reviews

Recent Reviews

June 10 2019 8:22PM

I bought insurance thru my Medicare plan. First took at least six hour to sign up in medicare dental plan. I send my insurance information to my dentist. Dentist contact Aetna for coverage and make sure my cleaning will cover. I file claim after cleaning my teeth, Insurance company reject my claim. To find my claim I have to call at least 4 times. Every time I call I got wrong information. I am tired and cancel my insurance. I received my prepaid insurance premium also wrong. I have to call back again. Just too much wastage of time for small issue.

Devendra B.
Alexandria, SELECT A STATE
May 23 2019 12:05PM

They wouldn’t pay for my son’s extraction of wisdom teeth. They wanted it submitted to medical insurance first, gave us 45 days to accomplish that. Of course, the medical insurance claim took more than 45 days, so they denied any payment. We’ll be switching to another insurer when the the annual open enrollment period comes around.

Bruce B.
Elmira, NY
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