This particular topic has been very confusing for many consumers. Most people relate any type of medical coverage “solution” to insurance, however, in this particular case there are questions that need to be answered before you go and spend your hard earned money.
First, let’s take a look at traditional dental insurance:
There are a few different things that need to be looked at, but we’ll begin with Premiums. Premiums for most dental insurance plans will run in the range of $30.00-$50.00 per month for an individual and as high as $100.00 per month for families.
Pre-existing conditions are not covered by dental insurance. This means that if you need a root canal, for example, and you want to get it taken care of, but don’t want to pay for it, getting dental insurance won’t help you. You’d receive a discount on the procedure if you’ve had your policy in place for more than one year (in most cases).
There are also deductibles, limitations on what procedures are covered and annual maximums of coverage.
This means that no matter how much it costs to have your particular dental problem taken care of, your policy will only cover a certain amount in a one year period.
With most dental insurance there are also waiting periods before you can be approved to have certain major procedures performed. Written claims paperwork must also be performed in order for your dentist to be paid. Also, if you have a procedure performed, that you assumed was covered, but you later discover that your insurance didn’t cover it, you would be responsible for the payment to your dentist.
Certain cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening (cosmetic dentistry), are rarely covered.
Now let’s take a look at dental discount plans:
Dental discount plans are plans that allow you to see a dentist for a procedure and receive a substantial discount for paying cash at the time of your visit.
Most of these plans are very inexpensive to join and will work well for individuals, families and groups.
Some of the benefits of dental discount plans vs insurance are:
Most plans are activated within 1-2 business days, so if you need to see a dentist, you can usually do so fairly quickly.
Pre-existing conditions are covered, in most cases. This means that if you need a root canal done then you can go to one of the dental providers in your network and you’ll receive a substantial discount just for showing your member card and paying in full at that time. You get your root canal taken care of and save a few hundred dollars (in most cases) and your dentist gets paid in full with no long wait and tedious paperwork to fill out. It’s a “win, win” for both the patient and the dentist.
The one drawback with dental discount plans is that you can only see a dentist that is a part of the plan’s network of providers. In many cases you’ll find that your dentist has already joined. If not, you can always show them what you’re considering and ask him to look into joining too. It makes sense for him or her to do so.
There are no annual limits with discount plans. As long as you pay the discount to your dentist, you can go every single day if you want. I doubt that you’ll need that, but I’m just making a point. No paperwork hassles either. Just show your card each time you visit and you’re in.
Cosmetic procedures and orthodontics are available with select plans. Check into this with your provider before joining.
Lastly, there are no health or age restrictions, so practically anyone can join.
If you haven’t purchased any coverage yet for yourself or your family, then why not take a look at dental discount plans? They might be just what you’re looking for.