Guardian Dental Insurance

Guardian Dental Insurance Review

With an extensive network of 101,000 participating dentists at more than 360,000 locations nationwide, comprehensive coverage and no sign-up fees, Guardian makes finding dental insurance easy. Finding a dentist in the Guardian network is accomplished using the provider search tool on their website. Guardian pays claims between two and 15 days on average after they are submitted, so customers don’t wait weeks for dental bills to be settled, and Guardian Dental customers don’t have to file claim forms.

Pros
  • Guardian Dental has over 101,000 in-network dentists
  • Preventive care like checkups and cleanings cost little to nothing
  • Guardian’s dental cost estimator makes it easy to get an idea of various dental procedure costs

Cons
  • ACA-subsidized plans are only available in 20 states

guardian dental

Source: Guardian

Guardian Dental Insurance Plans

Guardian Dental Insurance plans fall into two categories: a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO). Both types of policies are available in most states while other states only allow for one or the other, depending on regulations. Guardian Dental sells individual and family policies across the country via their website, and on HealthCare.gov in 20 state healthcare insurance exchanges.

  • PPO dental plans pay a monthly premium for dental insurance that covers a percentage of dental costs after members pay a deductible. An annual maximum caps the dental insurance payout for the year. Guardian PPO plans do not require referrals to see a specialist, and you can visit any dentist but will save money by using an in-network provider. There are currently 124,000 dentists and 363,000 dental offices across the country participating in Guardian’s PPO network.

  • Guardian Managed DentalGuard DHMO members pay a monthly premium and copayment based on the dental service received. There is no deductible or annual maximum as long as you stay with the dentist you select as your primary dental care provider. Referrals to specialists require preapproval from Guardian. Guardian Dental’s DHMO network includes 12,000 dentists and 52,000 office locations across the U.S.

If you are eligible for ACA subsidies, you must sign up for a Guardian dental plan through HealthCare.gov or your state exchange during the annual open enrollment period in November and part of December, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

Guardian Dental Insurance Costs

The average expense for dental insurance through Guardian ranges from around $16 to $60, depending on your state of residence, the level of coverage you choose (comprehensive or budget-conscious) and how soon you need dental work beyond routine care completed. Keep in mind prices vary based on your location and whether you need an individual or family plan. The three PPO plans below are based on a single person living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • Advantage Gold PPO: $33.99 per month for a single person. Good for those wanting maximum coverage.

  • Advantage Silver PPO: $22.46 per month for a single person. Good for those anticipating the need for dental work beyond the occasional filling.

  • Advantage Bronze PPO: $16.85 per month for a single person. Good for people only needing cleanings and the occasional filling.

Below are some sample premiums from across the country. These quotes are for individual or family plans. You can get quotes for ACA-related plans on your state exchange or HealthCare.gov (currently limited to 20 states).

Guardian Dental Insurance Premiums
Individual Policies / Per Person
State Plans
Offered
Average Monthly
Premium
Alabama 3 $16.14 – $30.27
Colorado 2 $26.39 – $37.76
Connecticut 3 $29.19 – $58.65
Florida 2 $22.84 – $32.68
Hawaii 3 $20.41 – $41.94
Illinois 4 $15.67 – $37.49
Minnesota 3 $21.74 – $43.88
Nevada 2 $24.61 – $35.83
New York 4 $16.28 – $45.17
North Dakota 3 $27.25 – $57.98
Oklahoma 3 $16.85 – $33.99
Texas 3 $17.68 – $33.70

Getting a Guardian Dental Quote

The Guardian Dental website offers three short step-by-step interviews to help you find the right dental coverage at an affordable price. Answer the questions to get a detailed quote, then save your quote or buy your dental insurance on the spot.

We like that Guardian does not require you to enter your email, phone number or any personally-identifying information to get a quote, a plus for avoiding unwanted sales calls.

  • Find a Plan: Enter your ZIP code to see plans available in your state with costs and plan details.

  • Find a Dentist: Enter your ZIP code for a list of in-network dentists in your area. You can also enter a dentist’s name to see if they work with Guardian Dental.

  • Help Me Choose a Dental Plan: Tailor your dental insurance by entering the protection levels, covered services, a specific dentist, your ZIP code and how soon you need coverage.

Guardian Dental Complaints

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ranks Guardian Insurance with an A+ and the company has earned BBB Accreditation. Since 1957, Guardian received only 71 customer complaints through the BBB. TopTenReviews gives Guardian a 9.5 out of 10 stars, calling the company’s insurance “impressive” and only deducting points for not offering coverage in every state. ConsumersAdvocate mirrors the sentiment with a 9.1 out of 10-star rating.

dental insurance

Source: Getty

Guardian Dental Q&A

  • Does Guardian ever change their rates outside of the open enrollment period for insurance on state exchanges?
    Guardian Dental reserves the right to change their rates but gives consumers at least a 60-day notice before premiums increase.

  • What payment options does Guardian Dental offer?
    You can choose to pay your dental insurance premiums monthly, quarterly or annually with a credit or debit card, or ACH (eCheck) bank draft. Guardian Dental can also bill you for payments, and you can pay by mailing a personal or cashier’s check or money order.

  • Does Guardian Dental require that my everyone on my policy use the same dentist?
    No. Each person covered by your plan can choose his or her own dentist. The rules for in-network and out-of-network providers apply, though, and Guardian pays more of each bill for in-network dentists.

  • Can I cancel my plan at any time or am I locked into a yearly contract?
    You can cancel your Guardian Dental insurance plan at any time, and your termination will be effective the last day of the current month or the last day of the month for which the premium has been paid. However, canceling your dental insurance means you will have to wait 12 months to re-enroll in a Guardian Dental plan.

  • Can I change dentists when I have a Guardian Dental plan?
    Guardian Dental Advantage Gold, Silver, and Bronze (PPO) plan holders can change dentists as often as they like. Guardian Managed DentalGuard (DHMO) members can change their primary care dentist, and the change will go into effect the first day of the following month.

Conclusion

With over 150 years of insuring Americans, Guardian knows one size never fits all when it comes to dental insurance. Guardian Dental offers plans for nearly every budget, whether you look into a Guardian Dental plan on their website or via the health insurance exchange. Costs are reasonable for the dental procedures coverage, and you won’t be held hostage by sales calls by getting a quote from their website.

Guardian Dental Reviews

Recent Reviews

Featured Review
June 01 2020 3:56PM

My dentist of choice is an out-of-network provider - with any insurance. They charge more but do outstanding work. They have had to redo many work done by my previous in-network dentist that I used for years - so it's worth it for me to pay more to get the job done right the first time.

I'm so thankful that my employer chose Guardian Dental as our provider - they have covered so much and even have a rollover plan that has come very handy when I maxed out my yearly benefit. I am extremely satisfied and I hope my employer never changes provider.

J S.
San Antonio, TX
April 14 2022 9:29PM

Been a customer since 2017. Never had a real problem until my regular dentist became ill and another dentist who was out of network substituted for him using my regular dentist's office and staff. Guardian only paid $59 out of a $220 bill. I was shocked to find I was responsible for $161.

I called Guardian and spoke to someone with poor English whom I had a hard time understanding. She told me the substitute dentist was out of network and therefore I was responsible for the remaining cost.

I understood Guardian paid 50% of out of network provider fees. $59 is not 50%. As result I cancelled my Guardian policy and went to another company.

Lois S.
Philadelphia, PA
January 24 2022 9:16PM

Our company had selected Guardian through a Professional Employer Organization as they touted many benefits that sounded wonderful. 3 out of 4 employees had issues with coverage and were denied claims based on fine print on items that most plans allow.

They also use another company to "review" challenges - and then they can point to them when items are denied again. When we opted not to use them this year, they canceled our account before the year was over and denied claims as "not covered" by them.

They are continuing to deny claims from last year when we had clearly already paid for their coverage. This is by far the worst dental insurance company!

S L.
Denver, CO
January 24 2022 4:07PM

The insurance of Guardian I do not recommend it to anyone because they when there are internal errors of their dental provider cover it up, in my case my dentist performed a bad practice, I gave the complaint to the insurance and his response was a letter where the dentist is freed from all responsible. Don't buy that insurance.

T. V.
Rochester, NY
January 06 2022 3:28PM

The customer service reps have no knowledge of the product. I had to spend two and a half hours on the phone for them to confirm that my dentist was in network.

I then received a bill for $137 for an exam and cleaning, both of which were supposed to be covered at 100% and everyone I've spoken with since just says, "I'm sorry, they're out of network." Absolute garbage insurance and you should pay a little extra to go with someone else.

Donald M.
Decatur, GA
October 06 2021 2:23PM

If I could give them a negative 0 I would. Please run as fast as you can. They hate to pay on your claim. They repeatedly ask for same info 10x so that you will forget and they don't pay it! This is the sorriest company... Do not get this insurance.

L M.
COLUMBIA, MS
September 10 2021 9:40PM

I've been with Guardian for over 3 years, even paying premiums thru the pandemic despite dental offices being closed.

When I moved to another State, I tried working with Guardian Direct to find a workable plan in that my old plan is not offered here. I read the Internet links sent to me by Guardian and called multiple times with questions.

Unfortunately, their customer service agents repeat the same information available on the Internet link and are inconsistent, giving out different answers to the same questions, when asked for clarification.

My frustration is compounded because the majority of their agents speak with accents that are somewhat hard to understand, which is not a problem if they listened to what I was asking.

Instead, they start at square one so I have to listen to everything I just read off the internet link before they understand that I'm asking something else. I'm then put on long holds while they consult someone to get answers.

In this confusing atmosphere, I chose the wrong plan & then tried to change it before it went into effect. I received a notice that I was terminated, but no notice that I was now in a different plan. And the disconnect there continues on and on.

Guardian now refuses to change the plan that went into effect 2 days ago, says I have to wait a year to change and that all waiting periods of a new subscriber now apply to me.

No loyalty points with these guys. Shopping for a new dental provider in that there's no benefit to staying here.

Sonia L.
Phoenix, AZ
July 16 2021 8:31PM

As so many other reviews point out, Guardian employs nasty, abusive, sexist jerks as customer service reps. Interrupting, using abusive language, hanging up on patrons - that's what customers experience.

I have never been so disgusted as I was following my one interaction with Guardian, and I am a premium-paying customer. I will be dropping them like a bag of dirt as soon as open enrollment comes around.

Cory P.
Westport, NY
July 04 2021 7:49AM

Guardian is the worst dental insurance I've had! This company should be avoided... Lousy coverage. They always find "fine print" to deny anything other than a dental checkup. Its business practices are highly suspect and at best misleading, covers near nothing.

(In my plan they should be covering 80%, but that is just a joke! At the end, they decide what to pay and how much). Strongly recommend people look elsewhere for dental insurance. #GuardianInsurancetheworst

Carly D.
Los Angeles, SELECT A STATE
April 23 2021 2:23AM

This site’s review of this dental insurance company is completely opposite of the customer experience. How can you rate a company without taking this into account?

Read the reviews on your own site. It tells you more than the superficial assessment done by your reviewer. Guardian Dental insurance will deny your claims for bogus reasons. Even if your dentist submits all information correctly, Guardian will claim differently to deny payment.

I had a procedure that needed to be completed on the same day as another procedure in order to be eligible for insurance reimbursement. In fact it was completed on the same day and the paperwork submitted as such.

But the Guardian insurance adjuster claimed the date of service was the prior day and therefore made the claim ineligible. There is no documentation from the dentist indicating the prior day.

Guardian simply indicated themselves to be able to deny the claim. They hope that you’ll get so disgusted with the process that you’ll give up trying to get reimbursed.

Another claim was denied because the dental office submitted an incorrect procedure code, one that was for a nearly identical service.

When the dentist assistant called to determine the issue after each time the claim was refused, Guardian never advised that the wrong code was submitted.

This went on until I called up to yell at the insurance claim supervisor who eventually gave me the correct code to be submitted. Do NOT sign up for insurance with this company. Medical insurance should prolong your life. This company will shorten it.

Louis P.
New York, NY
Write Review