Pros / Guardian has dental plans that cover 100 percent of the cost of preventative exams, X-rays and cleanings, plus some that handle orthodontics and sealants up to 19 years old.
Cons / Individual plans for this dental insurance are only available in a few states.
Verdict / Guardian provides some of the best dental insurance. It has multiple plans that cover a wide range of dental needs. However, it's only available in a few states.
Guardian has some impressive dental insurance plans that provide high value for the premiums. Some of the standout features include (depending on the plan), full coverage for preventative care – even when using an out-of-network dentist – and sealants for children up to 19 years old. The online system is easy to use, and Guardian has an account portal that you can access through a smartphone or tablet. Although it is only available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Texas and Utah, Guardian is still among the best options for dental insurance.
Although plans vary depending on price and requirements, overall, Guardian has some of the best coverage of the insurance companies we reviewed. Some plans cover the entire cost of preventative exams, bitewing X-rays and cleanings, and up to 90 percent of procedures like fillings or simple extractions. Coverage for major procedures, like root canals, varies. There is also variation between what the plans cover for children versus adults.
Because plans and pricing vary, we cannot give you an exact value statement on the monetary value of Guardian's plans or any of the other insurance companies we reviewed. However, one of the most important questions of dental insurance is, "Is it worth getting?" Therefore, we looked at policies for a single non-smoking woman in her 40s, one adding a dependent and another with two dependents. To determine savings, we priced out standard preventative care for each of these cases in 10 different zip codes. Finally, we compared costs for plans in those zip codes to see if you would save money purchasing insurance or just paying for the preventative procedures outright.
Even if you only get the standard preventative care of two exams with bitewing X-rays and cleanings, we found that Guardian dental insurance saved up to 45 percent of the cost of dental care compared to no insurance at all. This is one of the highest savings by the dental insurance companies we reviewed. If you add in the other usual expenses, like fillings, or more intense procedures, like root canals, you save more. Keep in mind these results can change depending on your state and your plan.
Terms & Conditions
Guardian's coverage is limited to a few states. You can get individual plans directly from Guardian if you live in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona or Colorado; individual dental plans through the public healthcare exchange for Texas, Florida, Illinois and New York. There is an interactive map on the website to find plans in your area. Because each state has its own requirements for healthcare, plans vary. Further, Guardian recommends double-checking your state's requirements to find the plan that fits your family and budget and meets federal requirements.
One standout feature of this company is that it provides partial coverage for sealants for kids up to 19. Sealants are plastic coatings that cover the grooves in teeth, usually the molars, protecting them against tooth decay. Sealants can last up to 10 years. Since kids start getting their adult teeth around six, being able to seal them again later in their teen years can prevent tooth decay. Many of Guardian's plans cover orthodontics as well, an important consideration if you have children who may need braces.
There are varying wait times for procedures that also depend on the plan. If you are looking for insurance to help you with a dental issue now, look carefully at the plans, as there is too much variation for us to list them all in this review. There are other dental insurance companies in our lineup that do not have a waiting period.
The number of in-network dentists is a little below average – over 101,000. Several companies in our lineup have twice that number of in-network dentists. Depending on the area where you live, Guardian may cover some or all of the costs for dental care by out-of-network dentists. In cases where it does assist with out-of-network expenses, deductibles change as well.
This company has an online portal where you can manage your accounts, find dentists and track claims. It also has an app so you can access this portal from your smartphone or tablet. The site is secure to protect your personal information and transactions. Like nearly all the dental insurance companies we reviewed, this one pays directly to your dentist.
Guardian provides multiple dental insurance plans with some of the best coverage, on average, of all of the companies we reviewed. It is only available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Texas and Utah; furthermore, plans and pricing vary according to cost of living in your area and state insurance requirements. However, if you have children, several of the plans may offer advantages that make Guardian worth looking into.