PROS / Aetna covers the entire cost of preventative exams and X-rays with its premium plan.
CONS / You can only buy individual dental plans from this insurance company if you live in one of the five states it covers.
VERDICT / Aetna is a competitive insurance company with a large network. However, unless you are member of a group plan, you can only get individual dental insurance if you live in a few states.
Aetna has a large network of providers and excellent online tools. However, it only provides stand-alone individual plans for residents of Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Thus, if you are self-employed or looking for dental insurance outside what your company offers and you do not live in these states, check our reviews of other dental insurance companies.
If, however, you live in one of these states, this insurance company offers some good plans. The plans vary by state, but in general, you can save money, even if you only get the standard diagnostic care. Depending on the plan, Aetna pays all the expenses of the exam and X-rays and the majority of the cleaning. It pays a percentage of basic and major dental care, including up to 80 percent of denture repairs. If you need a crown or dentures, however, you may have up to a year and a half wait.
You can see an out-of-network dentist with Aetna, but the overall prices may be more than in-network providers. This is standard for the medical and dental industry, as individual insurance companies negotiate with their in-network providers to get discounted rates for services. Aetna has the largest network of the insurance companies we looked at, and it spans outside the five states that offer independent individual plans. Thus, if you have a dental emergency and are not home, you may still be able to find a dentist who accepts your insurance.
The website itself is easy to navigate and has features that allow you to do much of your insurance paperwork online. By clicking on your state on Aetna's interactive map, you immediately get a page that summarizes the available plans and monthly premiums, helps you find a dentist in your area and calculate savings. One oddity we found was that, although there are two tabs for plans – one for ages 49 and under, and one for ages 50 and over – the plan summaries did not change. You can also fill out claims forms online and track claims through the website. With Aetna, you make your payments online. This insurance agency does not offer the option for manual payments, something other companies allow.
Overall, Aetna is a company worth considering. Its website is easy to follow and provides convenient online tools. It has a huge network of dentists, and its plans provide full or partial coverage for everything from exams to orthodontics. The biggest drawback is that it only provides independent dental plans to residents of Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois or Pennsylvania, so if you don't live in one of these states, check our reviews of other dental insurance companies.