Dental Insurance

Duke employees can choose from three dental options that offer different levels of coverage and different ways of choosing a dentist. Duke's dental plans are available to retirees who have continued their dental insurance in retirement.

All three plans cover some or all of the cost of:

  • preventive procedures such as exams and cleaning,
  • basic services such as fillings, sealants, denture repair and removal of teeth, and
  • major services such as crowns, dentures and root canals.

Please refer to the Dental Plan Comparison Chart and the Dental Plan Premiums for further details.

Fee schedules for all three plans are available on the Ameritas website.

Preferred Provider Option (PPO) Plan

The PPO plan includes no deductibles, a higher maximum annual benefit than Plan A and Plan B, and lower negotiated procedure rates. These provisions can lower participants' out-of-pocket expenses when using in-network dentists.

However, participants in the PPO plan must use an in-network provider. Prior to signing up for the PPO plan, you should review the network to make sure you are comfortable with the number of providers in your area. If you do not plan to use an in-network provider, do not sign up for the PPO plan.

A list of in-network dentists is available here.

Plan A and Plan B

With Plan A and Plan B, you may visit any licensed dentist. Both plans include deductibles that must be met before coverage begins for non-preventive procedures.

Plan A and Plan B reimburse participants based on the usual and customary (U&C) allowable charge for each covered service. Plan A has higher monthly premiums than Plan B, but reimburses participants more of the cost of the service. If a dentist charges more than the U&C charge, the participant is responsible for the excess charge.

How to Increase Your Annual Maximum Benefit

Dental plan members who had at least one dental claim filed in calendar year 2014, with less than $500 in claims payments, will have their annual maximum benefit increased by $250 in 2015. This accumulation can continue each year until the annual maximum has increased on the PPO plan from $1,250 to $2,250; on Plan A from $1,000 to $2,000; and on Plan B from $750 to $1,750. If you reach this annual maximum benefit, the insurance company will not reimburse any additional services for the remainder of the calendar year.

Late Entrant Restrictions on Benefits for 2015

If you or a dependent are not currently enrolled for dental coverage through Duke and enroll for 2015, you or the dependent will be considered a "late entrant."

As a "late entrant" your benefits during the first twelve months of coverage will be limited to preventive services: two preventive care exams (not including X-rays), two cleanings, and for children under age 19, one fluoride application.

Once you have been enrolled in a Duke dental insurance plan for at least one year, the insurance will also cover basic and major procedures such as fillings, extractions, crowns and root canals.

This 12-month waiting period does not apply if you are switching from one Duke dental plan to another Duke plan or if you enroll a child within 30 days of his/her second birthday or enroll an eligible dependent within 30 days of a qualifying event such as marriage or adoption.