Dental Insurance vs. Discount Plans Author:    Posted under: Health InsuranceHealth Insurance questions answered

It used to be that Health and Dental Insurance go hand-in-hand especially for an employed individual. As desperate times continue to loom around us, desperate measures are being done by employers to keep their businesses afloat. Sad to say, but it is the dental insurance that employers cut back

They say that health insurance is far more important than dental insurance and it is costly as well. Of course looking at it at face value, it is without a doubt true. More and more Americans are without dental insurance or they carry the burden of paying large amounts of money just to be covered.

As they say, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. In the past there’s only the traditional dental insurance but recently, Discount Plans providers are being noticed. Some people even say that Discount Plans are an alternative to costly dental insurance.  Traditional Dental Insurance has many downsides including high premium and deductibles, long waiting period, tedious paperwork and limitations. Discount Plans, on the other hand, are much more affordable, easy to avail and definitely hassle-free.

Characteristics of Dental Insurance and Discount Plan

  • Dental Insurance companies sometimes require that you pay enrollment fees to have a policy in force. Some even ask for the whole year premium as upfront payment. The basis of the premium collected is usually how much coverage you want. Take note that Dental Insurance companies do not normally cover pre-existing conditions or will charge you higher premiums to have your pre-existing condition covered.

    Discount Plans charge individuals a fixed monthly or yearly rate regardless of pre-existing conditions. They do not collect premiums. Discount Plans providers do not reimburse the patient or doctor allowing them to charge such low monthly rates. They provide patients with access to different discounts at the dental office thus lowering the patient’s out-of-pocket costs.

  • Dental Insurance companies normally have a 6-month waiting period (upon sign-up) before you can actually receive benefits. The waiting period can be reduced if there’s a need for preventive or diagnostic work.

    In Discount Plans, members can start availing of the benefit a few days after they sign-up. This is because Discount Plan members pay the dentist directly and not the provider.

  • In the Traditional Dental Insurance, there is a co-payment system. This means that you have to pay a certain amount for the treatment done to you at the dentist’s office.

    In Discount Plans, members pay a discounted price for the treatment done at the dentist’s office. Most of the time the discounted price is even lower than the co-payment charges.

  • There is no such thing as “full coverage” dental insurance plan. Dental insurance providers do not reimburse or cover pre-existing conditions since it’s too costly for them. They also have this “tooth clause” that says they do not replace missing tooth. Policies rarely cover cosmetic treatment or procedure even if it becomes necessary to maintain the patient’s health. Another restriction is that dental insurance providers do not replace broken dentures or bridges.

    Members of Discount Plans can receive discounts on almost all treatments including cosmetic procedures. They do not even screen for pre-existing conditions. They also provide discount on tooth replacement.

  • Dental Insurance is typically for individuals or families that are employed.

    Discount Plans are easily available to individuals, families or group.

As always, individual’s needs vary from one another. It is best to determine which plan best suits your needs. If you are healthy and normally go to the dentist for a regular routine check-up, then the Discount Plan may be perfect for you. Sometimes the employed individual gets additional discount plan on top of their usual dental insurance for added protection and coverage.

No matter what you decide, get all the facts first before making that crucial decision. Remember that you have to get your money’s worth for every service that you get.



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