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Currently I do not have dental insurance with my job. I just found out I need some major work :( Can I still get dental insurance and have it save me money? I know it's possible to get dental insurance outside of the job because after I quit my old work the insurance company tried to sell me a plan (Manulife).

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The Manulife link you provided says:

Your coverage is guaranteed with no medical questions when you apply and pay your first premium within 90 days of your employee benefits ending.

That implies that for new coverage, you will be asked medical questions. And of course your answers will affect whether they accept you, what your rates will be, and what will be covered.

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You can submit an application for insurance, but you must disclose all of your existing conditions and your family history. Anything that is relevant must be disclosed on the application form. If you neglect to mention your dentist's quote for the substantial work you need, this is known as insurance fraud (which is a criminal act).

As others have mentioned, it is common for insurers to have a waiting period (also known as a stand-down period) of around 6-12 months after your application is approved before you can make a claim. So that means even if they accept you knowing that you have a pre-existing condition, you could be waiting for a long time before your insurer would cover the claim. They would also typically charge you higher premiums as they know you'll be more likely than average to make claims in the future.

If you decide to wait out the 6-12 month waiting period, your dental health problems could get much worse over that time, or more painful. So most people would just pay for the dental treatment themselves rather than wait that long. There are finance companies that offer medical loans for people who urgently need health or dental treatment but don't have the savings to pay for it. So that is another option for you. But it is cheaper to borrow off family, if you can.

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No, all dental insurance that I know of will have waiting periods for major work. Many will not have waiting periods for routine cleanings, but that won't help you.

Aetna has a dental discount program without a waiting period. But, if you shop around, you can probably get work done for the same cost without the discount.

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    How long is the typical waiting period on Canadian dental insurance? Major work doesn't necessarily mean urgent, so might be fine. Does Canadian law allow insurance to deny coverage for preexisting conditions? – Hart CO Dec 28 '19 at 15:00
  • @HartCO Does Canadian law allow insurance to deny coverage for preexisting conditions yes, for specific types of plans and specific conditions, and within specific time frames of your last coverage and/or diagnosing the condition, insurers are allowed to deny you, deny specific claims, or increase your premium. It's very different and more complicated than the blanket, black-and-white pre-existing condition protections we currently have in the US. – dwizum Dec 31 '19 at 13:55
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Not sure about Canada but insurance typically involves an open enrollment period or major life events.

Open enrollment:

  • For one month out of the year (specified by the employer) employees are allowed to freely sign up for, change, or cancel their insurance plan

Major life events (when this happens you can make changes to your insurance):

  • Change in marital status (marriage or divorce)
  • Change in household size (someone is born or someone passes)
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