Covered California Dental Plans

by | Oct 20, 2021

Introduction to Covered California Dental Plans

Welcome to a healthier smile and peace of mind with Covered California Dental Plans! These plans are a cornerstone of the state’s health coverage offerings, designed to ensure that individuals and families across California have access to affordable and comprehensive dental care. Understanding the importance of oral health and its impact on overall well-being, Covered California provides a range of dental plans tailored to meet the needs of its diverse population. Whether it’s routine check-ups, cleanings, or more complex procedures, these dental plans are structured to promote preventive care and minimize out-of-pocket costs, making dental health a reachable goal for all Californians.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for Covered California dental plans extends to a broad spectrum of residents. Generally, if you qualify for health coverage through Covered California, you are also eligible for dental coverage. This includes people from all age groups and varying income levels. Additionally, there are special considerations that might make certain groups eligible for extra benefits, such as children under 19 or pregnant women. To ensure inclusivity, Covered California considers all household sizes and income brackets to offer the most appropriate coverage for each individual’s circumstances.

Plan Options

When it comes to selecting the right dental plan, Covered California offers an array of options to fit different needs and preferences:

  • Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (DHMOs): These plans are typically the most budget-friendly, requiring members to choose a primary care dentist from a network for all services. They offer low or no copayments for preventive services.
  • Dental Preferred Provider Organizations (DPPOs): These plans offer more flexibility, allowing members to visit any licensed dentist, but costs are usually lower when using network providers. They often come with a deductible and higher copayment for services compared to DHMOs.
  • Fee-for-Service Plans: While not as common, these plans provide flexibility and straightforward benefits. You pay a fee for services as you receive them, and the plan reimburses a portion of the costs.

Each plan type has its own network of dentists, payment structures, and rules about how you get services.

Coverage Details

The scope of services covered by Covered California dental plans is designed to encompass a wide range of dental needs:

  • Preventive Care: All plans emphasize preventive services such as exams, X-rays, and cleanings, which often are covered at 100% without a deductible.
  • Basic Procedures: This includes fillings, extractions, and periodontal maintenance, with most plans covering a significant portion of these costs.
  • Major Services: Coverage for more extensive procedures like crowns, bridges, and dentures is also available, typically at a lower coverage percentage, reflecting the higher cost of these services.

For the current year, be sure to review any updates or changes in coverage, as Covered California continually adapts its offerings to best serve the needs of its enrollees. This proactive approach ensures that the dental plans not only reflect the latest in dental care standards but also remain aligned with the evolving needs of Californians.

Enrollment Process

Embarking on your journey to dental wellness begins with the enrollment process. Through Covered California, enrolling in a dental plan is synchronized with the health plan enrollment timeline. The Open Enrollment period typically starts in November and runs through January. During this window, you can browse, select, and enroll in the dental plan that best fits your needs.

Should life throw you a curveball — like a move, marriage, or job loss — Special Enrollment Periods are available year-round for those who experience qualifying life events. It’s crucial to act within 60 days of the event to secure your dental coverage.

To enroll, simply contact our Enrollment Center, where you can compare plans side by side, check if your current dentist is in-network with the plans offered, and then proceed to enroll in a plan of your choice.

Additionally, by using our intuitive platform, you can conveniently obtain quotes or purchase dental and vision insurance plans outside of the open enrollment period.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Browse and Compare: View a range of dental and vision insurance plans from leading providers.
  2. Get a Quote: Input some basic information to receive instant, personalized quotes.
  3. Enroll Anytime: Choose a plan that suits your needs and enroll directly through the insurance company without waiting for the open enrollment period.

Costs and Premiums

The cost of dental plans through Covered California varies based on the plan type and level of coverage you select. Premiums can range from no cost for children’s standalone dental plans to higher amounts for adult plans, with co-pays and deductibles that are clearly outlined before you enroll.

For example, a basic DHMO plan may have a low monthly premium of around $20 with $5 co-pays for cleanings. In contrast, a DPPO might have a $50 monthly premium but offer 50% coverage for major services after a $50 deductible. Maximum out-of-pocket expenses cap your annual spending, protecting you from excessive costs.

Additional Benefits

Several dental plans offer additional benefits or wellness programs. These perks might include discounts on orthodontic services, teeth whitening options, or even special programs for individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes that can affect oral health. It’s worth exploring each plan’s extra offerings as they can contribute significantly to your overall health and savings.

Pediatric Dental Coverage

In the realm of Covered California, pediatric dental coverage is not an option — it’s a guarantee. This coverage is included with every health plan for children under 19. It encompasses a comprehensive set of services, from routine preventive care to more significant procedures. Unlike adult dental coverage, pediatric dental does not require an additional premium and is woven into the tapestry of essential health benefits that Covered California supports.

Understanding these aspects of dental plans is key to making an informed decision. With knowledge of the enrollment process, costs, additional benefits, and pediatric coverage, you’re well on your way to choosing a dental plan that aligns with your financial and health priorities.

Choosing the Right Plan

Selecting the ideal dental plan is a critical decision that hinges on several personal factors. Start by assessing your dental health needs. Do you require frequent visits for ongoing issues, or are you simply looking for preventive care? Next, consider your financial situation. What monthly premium and out-of-pocket costs can you comfortably afford?

Network Providers: If you have a preferred dentist, check if they’re in-network with the plan you’re considering, as this can significantly reduce your costs.

Cost vs. Coverage: Weigh the trade-offs between higher premiums with lower out-of-pocket costs against lower premiums with higher out-of-pocket expenses. A plan with a higher premium but lower co-pays and deductibles may be more cost-effective if you need extensive dental work.

Coverage: Look at the types of services covered. If you expect to need orthodontic work, for instance, ensure that the plan you select provides good orthodontic coverage.

Remember, the cheapest plan isn’t always the most cost-effective. Consider your dental care needs for the upcoming year and choose a plan that balances cost with coverage.

Consumer Assistance and Resources

Covered California is committed to helping you navigate your dental plan options and resolve any issues you might encounter.

  • Online: Visit the Covered California website for comprehensive guides, comparison tools, and the online help center.
  • Phone: Call Covered California Service Center for direct assistance.
  • In-Person: Schedule a meeting with a local certified enroller who can provide personalized assistance.

For detailed contact information, including phone numbers and working hours, please refer to the official Covered California website or your Covered California account.

Testimonials and Success Stories

Hearing from those who’ve walked the path before can be incredibly reassuring. For instance, meet Maria, a Fresno resident, who found that her Covered California dental plan covered the root canal treatment she needed, with manageable co-pays. Or consider the Rodriguez family, whose children received braces at a significantly reduced cost thanks to their pediatric dental coverage.

These stories underscore the tangible benefits that Covered California dental plans can provide to individuals and families, ensuring essential dental care is accessible and affordable.


Addressing frequently asked questions can clarify common uncertainties:

  • Q: Can I switch dental plans anytime? A: You can switch during the open enrollment period or if you qualify for a special enrollment period due to a life event.
  • Q: Are braces covered under Covered California dental plans? A: Coverage for orthodontics varies by plan and typically is more comprehensive in pediatric dental coverage.
  • Q: Do dental plans cover cosmetic procedures? A: Most dental plans do not cover cosmetic procedures like veneers or cosmetic orthodontics.
  • Q: What if I can’t afford a dental plan? A: Depending on your income, you may qualify for subsidies or free coverage for children under 19.

Updates and Changes

Staying abreast of the latest updates and changes in dental policy is essential for making the most informed decisions regarding your dental coverage. Covered California is continually evolving to better meet the needs of Californians, and recent legislative actions may impact your dental plan choices.

For example, any adjustments in the income brackets for subsidy eligibility or expansions in covered dental services will be directly reflected in the options available to you. It’s important to review the official Covered California website or speak with a certified enroller for the most current information.

Call to Action

Don’t let another day go by without securing the dental coverage you and your family need. Visit the Covered California website today to review your options, compare plans, and enroll. If you’re outside of the open enrollment period, check to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period. Your health is your wealth, and with Covered California, you have a partner in maintaining it.


In conclusion, your dental health is a vital component of your overall well-being. With the range of dental plans offered through Covered California, there’s a plan to fit every need and budget. These plans are designed with you in mind, providing the coverage necessary to keep you and your family smiling brightly. Remember, preventive care is the best care, and with Covered California dental plans, you have access to the services that will keep you at your healthiest. So take the first step today, and ensure that your smile continues to shine for years to come.

This article was written by Mark Svetlik, with the assistance of automation technology. The content has undergone thorough editing and fact-checking to ensure complete accuracy.

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