Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dental plan options for Cornell University endowed faculty and staff? Collapsed Expanded

Endowed Cornell faculty and staff have 2 dental plan options from which to choose. There is a Dental Standard plan and a Dental Plus plan. Please visit the Plan Benefits page for more details on each plan.

When can I make changes or enroll in MetLife dental coverage? Collapsed Expanded

All endowed faculty and staff can enroll or make changes to your dental coverage during the Annual Open Enrollment held in the Fall. Endowed Cornell faculty and staff new hires, or those experiencing a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce or birth, have 60 days from date of hire or qualifying event to enroll or make changes in coverage. Enrollment changes are made by enrolling through Workday here

What types of services do both plans cover? Collapsed Expanded

Each plan has coverage for many dental procedures, including: Exams and cleanings, Fillings, X-rays, Root canals and more.

What are some differences between the Dental Plus plan and the Dental Standard plan? Collapsed Expanded

The annual maximum benefit under the Dental Plus plan is $5,000 while the annual maximum under the Dental Standard plan is $1,250. The Dental Plus plan offers orthodontia care for adults (employee & spouse/domestic partner) and children while the Dental Standard plan only allows for orthodontia care for children. The Orthodontia Lifetime maximum under the Dental Plus plan is $2,000 and the Orthodontia Lifetime maximum under the Dental Standard plan is $1,000.

Is Orthodontia covered under both the Dental Standard and Dental Plus Plans? Collapsed Expanded

Orthodontia coverage is available for children in both plans through age 18. Since the average orthodontic treatment is 24 months, the child needs to be banded by their 17th birthday to receive the full 8 quarters of benefit. Orthodontia coverage for adults is only available in the Dental Plus plan and only covers you and your spouse.

My child is currently going through Orthodontia treatment and has already met the Lifetime Maximum through Cornell’s previous insurance. Is my child eligible for additional orthodontia benefits through MetLife? Collapsed Expanded

Any Orthodontia Lifetime Maximum benefits paid out under your previous plan, for both children and adults, is going to be carried over and applied to the Lifetime Maximum benefit under your plan with MetLife. If you have already received the $1,000 Orthodontia Lifetime Maximum benefit under your previous plan(s), you won’t have any additional benefits if you enroll under the Dental Standard plan. However, you may have up to an additional $1,000 in orthodontia benefits available if you enroll under the Dental Plus plan.

I had a crown procedure done on one of my teeth last year and now I need a new crown on the same tooth. Will it be covered under my new plan with MetLife? Collapsed Expanded

No. Under your previous plan as well as this MetLife plan, there is a frequency limit on crowns of 1 per tooth every 5 years. If you had the crown procedure within 5 years, services to replace the crown now will not be covered.

If I’m enrolled in a MetLife endowed dental plan, will I need an ID card to go to my dentist? Collapsed Expanded

After enrolling, you will receive an ID card in the mail. You can also securely register on MyBenefits to view your claims, print ID cards and so much more ( Although you do not need to present an ID card to confirm that you are eligible, you should notify your dentist that you are enrolled in a MetLife dental plan featuring the PDP Plus Program. Your dentist can easily verify information about your coverage through an automated Computer Voice Response system by calling 1-877-MET-DDS9.

How do I find a participating dentist? Collapsed Expanded

There are many general dentists and specialists to choose from nationwide. In 2020, MetLife was able to increase its network size for the Cornell plans by adding over 200 participating dentists.  See a list of participating dentists here.

May I choose a non-participating dentist? Collapsed Expanded

You are always free to select any general dentist or specialist. However, you usually save more when you visit a participating dentist. He/she has agreed to accept negotiated fees as payment in full for covered services. Negotiated fees typically range from 30–45% below the average fees charged in a dentist’s community for similar services.1

Can my current dentist apply for participation in the network? Collapsed Expanded

Yes. If your current dentist does not participate in the network and you would like to encourage him/her to apply, ask your dentist to visit, or call 1-866-PDP-NTWK for an application.2 The website and phone number are for use by dental professionals only.

Can I get an estimate of my out-of-pocket expenses before receiving the service? Collapsed Expanded

Yes. We recommend you request a pre-treatment estimate for services totaling more than $300. Simply have your dentist submit a request online at or call 1-877-MET-DDS9. Actual payments and out-of-pocket costs may vary from the pre-treatment estimate depending upon plan maximums, deductibles, frequency limits and other conditions at time of payment. 

If I reach my annual maximum, can I still receive a benefit of a network discount? Collapsed Expanded

Yes, as long as the dental work is completed by an in-network MetLife PDP Plus provider, the fee your provider charges for covered services will be limited to the MetLife PDP Plus Network negotiated fee even if you exceed your annual maximum.

The service I want to have completed is not covered. Can I receive a discount? Collapsed Expanded

Yes, as long as the dental work is completed by an in-network MetLife PDP Plus provider, the dentist may not charge more than the negotiated fee for the service, even if the service is not a covered service.3

How are claims processed? Collapsed Expanded

Dentists may submit claims for you, which means you have little or no paperwork. You can track your claims online and even receive email alerts when a claim has been processed. If you need a claim form, visit the documents page or call 800-942-0854.

How do I pay for my dental plan? Collapsed Expanded

Premiums will be conveniently paid through payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis.

If I am traveling outside the United States and require dental treatment, how do I submit a claim for reimbursement? Collapsed Expanded

Benefits may not be assigned to dentists outside of the United States. Dentists outside of the U.S. are considered out of network. You will need to pay for the dental services provided up front and then mail the dentist’s statement with a completed claim form to MetLife, in order for reimbursement to be considered.

1 Based on MetLife data. Negotiated fees refer to the fees that in-network dentists have agreed to accept as payment in full for covered services, subject to any co-payments, deductibles, cost sharing and benefits maximums.  Negotiated fees are subject to change.  Savings from enrolling in a dental benefits plan featuring the MetLife PDP Plus Program will depend on various factors, including the cost of the plan, how often participants visit a dentist and the cost of services rendered.

2 Due to contractual requirements, MetLife is prevented from soliciting certain providers.

3 Subject to applicable law, which varies by state.

Like most group benefit programs, benefit programs offered by MetLife and its affiliates contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, waiting periods and terms for keeping them in force. Please contact MetLife or your plan administrator for costs and complete details.