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How to Use Dental Benefits Abroad

By Caroline Jacobson on May 10, 2016 in Insurance


From currency and cuisine to electrical outlets and hand gestures, traveling outside of the U.S. is, well—different. And your insurance is no exception. Fortunately, just like your jetlag, coverage can come with you overseas. Many dental insurance plans cover at least some portion of dental emergencies.* 

When you travel, be prepared for everything…including a dental emergency.
This congratulatory U.S. gesture has a much different meaning in Thailand. Your dental coverage does too.

If you find yourself traveling to a dental chair while abroad, take these steps:

 1. Find a reputable dentist.

You can find dental care in many parts of the world. For example, most European countries have highly comparable dental education programs to that of the U.S. Check and see if the country you're visiting has its own professional dental association. Oftentimes they can provide a list of dentist referrals.

 2. Pay at time of service.

Prepare to pay the dentist at the time of your procedure. Your insurance will usually convert currency for reimbursement. And rest assure—reimbursement will be sent after you file your claim.

3. File the claim yourself.

Airport security isn't the only process that takes longer when you travel internationally. Because you're out of the country, insurance companies must follow more stringent steps. In order to receive reimbursement, ask for a detailed billing statement after your procedure has been completed. Make sure it includes:

• English translation (if possible)

• Treatment provided

• Tooth or teeth numbers

• Date of service

• Cost of service

So, in case of emergency, stash these steps in your back pocket (with your passport and guidebook, of course).

* Check with your insurance provider to confirm your plan's coverage.