Tennessee uses the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace HealthCare.gov for the sale of certified individual/family dental plans.
Not all insurers who offer medical plans through the Tennessee exchange include dental coverage with their health plans, but stand-alone dental plans are available for purchase that cover both adults and children.
Frequently asked questions about dental coverage in Tennessee
How much does dental insurance cost in Tennessee?
For adults who purchase their own stand-alone or family dental coverage through the exchange, premiums range from $18 to $82 per month.
IHC Specialty Benefits reports that the average monthly premium for a stand-alone family dental plan sold in Tennessee in 2022 was $40.94.
If a family is purchasing coverage through the health insurance exchange, the premiums associated with pediatric dental coverage may or may not be offset by premium tax credits (premium subsidies). Here’s more about how that works, depending on whether the health plan has integrated pediatric dental benefits.
Are stand-alone pediatric dental plans on the exchange ACA-compliant?
The stand-alone pediatric dental plans available in Tennessee will comply with the ACA’s pediatric dental coverage rules. This means out-of-pocket costs for pediatric dental care will not exceed $375 per child in 2023 (or $750 for all the children on a family’s plan), and there is no cap on medically-necessary pediatric dental benefits.
As is the case for all essential health benefits, the specific coverage requirements for pediatric dental care are guided by the state’s essential health benefits benchmark plan.
You can review details of the Tennessee benchmark plan, which does include coverage for both basic and major dental services for children.
Which insurers offer dental coverage through the Tennessee marketplace?
In 2023, eight insurers offer stand-alone individual/family dental coverage through the health insurance marketplace in Tennessee. These are dental plans that are not included with a medical plan and must be purchased separately:
- BEST Life
- Cigna Healthcare
- EMI Health
These plans can be purchased through HealthCare.gov during open enrollment (November 1 to January 15) or during a special enrollment period triggered by a qualifying life event. Exchange-certified stand-alone dental plans are compliant with the ACA’s rules for pediatric dental coverage.
Can I buy dental insurance outside of Tennessee's exchange?
There are also a variety of dental insurers that sell stand-alone dental plans directly to consumers in the Volunteer State. These plans are not subject to the ACA’s essential health benefit rules for pediatric dental coverage, but they are regulated by the Tennessee Division of Insurance. If you would like to purchase a non-ACA qualified dental plan, ask a dentist for recommendations or search online.
In Tennessee, there are also various dental discount plans available. Dental discount plans are not insurance, but they can get consumers lower rates at participating dentists. Learn about the differences between dental insurance and dental discount plans.
To find plans in your area, search online for dental discount plans and the state you are looking to buy a plan in.
How does Tennessee Medicaid and CHIP provide dental coverage?
Beginning in 2023, adults enrolled in Medicaid in Tennessee, known as TennCare, will be eligible for dental benefits. Extensive dental benefits for pregnant and postpartum beneficiaries began in April of 2022. Children enrolled in Medicaid are eligible to receive comprehensive dental benefits as long as they are deemed medically necessary.
CoverKids, which is Tennessee’s CHIP, provides dental coverage to uninsured children and pregnant women with income above the eligibility limits for Medicaid.
What dental resources are available in Tennessee?