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Discount Dental Plan Vs Dental Insurance

Discount Dental Plan Vs Dental Insurance

 Discount Dental Plan Vs Dental Insurance

Weighing your dental coverage options? A dental discount plan may be the way to go.

Nowadays many people are losing benefits due to job loss or cut-backs at work, and many employers simply do not offer dental insurance. All is not lost however, because it is relatively easy and inexpensive to purchase a stand alone dental insurance plan to help pay for your dental services. It is difficult however to ensure that you are getting the most for your money with these types of plans. I have noticed that sometimes you don't always get what you pay for when it comes to dental insurance coverage that you buy on your own.

There is another option: Dental Discount Plans.

How do dental discount plans work? You ask. A discount dental plan is different than dental insurance in that it works like grocery discount card. You present your card to the dentist's office and they discount your services. In many ways dental insurance and discount plans are the same: Both give you discounts off of basic services such as fillings and x-rays. The discounts are 20%, 50%, 60% or 70%. Some insurance plans pay more at 80%. Root Canals and Extractions at 50%, and braces at 15-20% off (on some plans). So both dental insurance and discount plans give you a discount on dental services. The only distinctive difference is how the dentist gets paid. With insurance the insurance company pays the dentist a percentage and you pay a percentage. With discount plans the dentist discounts the services and you pay that amount due.

Here are some of the pro's and con's of insurance and discount plans:



* The insurance companies will allow you to pay premium monthly

* Will normally cover 100% of your preventative services such as cleanings and 100% of office visits

* Security of using large insurance carriers


* Average cost is high at $25 per month for an individual more for smokers

* Deductible that must be met

* Waiting periods

* Annual limits of $1,000 to $1,500 per year (can be a problem since dental services aren't cheap)

* Claim filing are required and prior approval may be required



* Cheap: costs on average $10 to $12 per month

* No deductible

* No annual limits.

* Cosmetic surgery discount plans available

* Account can be used within 3 days

* No claim filing and prior approvals

* Security: Major insurance companies offer the plans


* Discounts on services slightly lower than dental insurance

* Normally you must pay for the plans in one lump sum annually ($120 or so)

* Does not cover 100% of preventative service

Overall discount dental plans seem to offer offer a better deal. Here is one big dental discount plan plus: Since there are no annual limits involved theoretically one or one's family could save thousands per year. On the other hand dental insurance may be right for you if you mostly go to the dentist for cleanings or check-ups because it may cover those services at 100%. The cost of cleanings versus what you pay for insurance should be considered however.

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