Dental Insurance Plan Secrets Revealed : A dental insurance plan is insurance designed to pay for the costs associated with dental care. Dental care by dentists, orthodontists, and hospitals is partly covered by dental insurance. Thus, dental insurance protects people from financial difficulties caused by unexpected dental treatment costs.
More than 50% of people in the United States are not covered by any dental insurance plan according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Nearly everyone who receives dental insurance registers through their employer as a second part of their health insurance. You should consider having a compatible program to fill the gap between the two plans depending on the type of health insurance you have. By doing this, you will receive preventive dental care as well as the benefit of saving money.
That said, dental insurance plans are highly undesirable for many dentists. Basically, this means less pay plus more work (especially more paperwork.) It’s important not to insure too much or too little so it’s important to assess your situation when purchasing adequate coverage. In addition, you should keep in mind that all insurance plans have limitations such as maximum annual payments and pre-existing conditions.
Common types of dental insurance plans are mainly Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (DHMOs) or Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). PPO and DHMO are both types of managed care and, therefore, both dental insurance plans have advantages and disadvantages.
All costs are generally not covered because even if dentists provide their services for this plan and have agreed on the amount they will charge the insurance company, there are still some unpaid fees. There are deductions to consider and most of these types of dental insurance plans only pay a percentage of the cost, leaving the patient with a co-pay. In addition, there may be a maximum annual amount that a dental insurance plan will pay.
If your employer pays a monthly premium for a dental insurance plan and the dentist you are using is part of a PPO, this may be an attractive option.
Based on medical HMOs, DHMOs offer other dental insurance plans. Here too, patients are enrolled in a program and can visit any dentist in that program. However, compared to PPO, dentists may not spend as much time with each patient and may provide services at a lower cost. In DHMO, volume is more important than quality, so dentists are often forced to spend less time with their patients. Due to the lack of time, although the patient will eventually be seen and treated, there is no true relationship between the dentist and the patient. If you want to be seen by a dentist who spends time with his patients, this may not be your optimal dental insurance plan.
Dental Treatment Packages Without Insurance… Alternative Dental Insurance Packages
In this type of plan, usually referred to as a Cost Reduction for Services or Discount Plan, the participating dental service providers provide treatment at a discounted rate to plan customers. These types of plans started in the early 1990s, and they offer benefits such as braces, fillings, exams, and regular cleanings in exchange for reduced fees to their members. Members typically receive a 30%-35% discount off the retail price.
Unlike traditional indemnity-based dental insurance, dental discount plans have no annual limit, no health limit, and no paperwork. In addition, consumers must pay a monthly or annual membership fee to get discounts on these dental services. To ensure that customers receive the promised savings, most plans will provide a price list or fee schedule for this discounted service.
A regular discount plan, for example, will direct you to a dentist who has agreed to charge a discounted rate of, say, $700 for a crown instead of $800.
Discount dental plans are designed for individuals, families and groups who want to save money on their dental care needs. Dental service providers participating in this plan have agreed to receive a fee rebate as full payment for services performed for plan members. In general, plans are active within five business days and sometimes even on the same business day.
Careful; If you don’t have dental insurance coverage other than a dental discount plan, you can have a huge liability for payments to the provider. For example, a 25% discount applied to a $2000 dental bill would still leave a person with a $1500 liability. Also, because payment is due at the time of service (i.e. when your dental work is complete), be prepared to pay your dental bill in full before leaving the dental office.
Before Buying Discount Dental Packages
You should know the answers to all of the questions below before you purchase any type of dental coverage, whether you opt for a discount non-insurance plan or one of the many traditional indemnity-based dental insurance plans.
*** Request a list of participating providers in your region/zip code
*** Contact any provider you wish to meet to confirm that they are still participating in the plan
*** If you are interested in performing the procedure, check with the provider at a normal cost
*** Make sure the provider offers the promised cost reduction
Finally, be aware that state insurance departments do not regulate dental discount plans. That said, the fact that they are not regulated, does not mean that they are not legal… just be careful. If you’re not sure whether you’re buying insurance or not, just ask if a licensed insurance company offers the plan and verify this with the insurance company. In California and Arizona, there are now state-licensed dental discount plans.