While many people are aware of the necessity of having a good health plan, fewer understand the importance of having a dental plan in place, or even understanding discount dental plans.
At retail prices, dental emergencies can be quite expensive to cover out of pocket. Traditionally, those who have recognized the need to plan for such a contingency have purchased dental insurance. However, discount dental plans represent a more prudent option for many. Understanding discount dental plans is thus important if you want to make the wisest decision for your family.
With traditional dental insurance, you will pay monthly premiums which usually cover the cost of preventative dental exams and cleanings as well as some of the costs of needed dental work. Most insurance plans do not cover all the cost of dental work, and can feature co-pays from 20%-50% and even dental caps as low as $1,000. As a result one could be paying $500 per year for insurance, with the benefits capped at $1000 per year.
Discount dental plans are considerably cheaper than dental insurance. These plans typically cost $80 to $140 per year. These plans do not offer insurance coverage, but rather access to deep discounts in dental fees across a network of practitioners. These discounts are usually quite similar to the prices negotiated by the big insurance companies. One can typically save between 10% to 60% depending on the procedure.
Discount dental plans offer some significant benefits over insurance. When one considers the fact that insurance copays tend to be high and benefits tend to be capped at low levels, if a person needs significant dental work one year, the amount saved by choosing insurance is likely not that much. If an individual needs a lot of dental work during the year and greatly exceeds the cap, then the discounts on the work accrued through the discount dental plan could even exceed the payoff the insurance company is willing to give. This is because there generally are no caps on discount dental plan discounts.
While one can benefit in the years where one has significant dental expenses from insurance, one will pay substantially higher premiums in the years that dental work does need to be performed. The extra $400 or so per year in premiums can really add up. One or two years of savings from having no procedures could more than make up for the expenses in a year of extensive dental work, especially if the insurance has a low cap.
The one big advantage dental insurance has it that it does cover routine cleanings and checkups. For people who regularly see their dentist twice per year for preventative maintenance, dental insurance can make sense. For most Americans who see the dentist much less frequently, dental insurance is usually not cost effective when compared to discount dental plans.
Understanding discount dental plans allow one to save on many cosmetic procedures such as braces that insurance does not reimburse, one needs to look at the total dental needs to determine if insurance or a discount dental plan will result in more savings. Additionally, if you have a pre-existing dental condition, you will gain no advantage from signing up for dental insurance as it will not help one take care of those problems; however, one can still receive discounts through a discount dental plan whether the condition is pre-existing or not.
Understanding discount dental plans is important to making informed decisions about your best financial options when it comes to oral health. For many people discount dental plans represent a more economical option due to their lower premiums and lack of caps on discounts from physicians.
AmeriPlan discount health and dental plans are designed to save you money while providing the health and dental care you and your family needs. Get started now and you’ll be amazed at the level of medical and dental services and the low cost.