Dental Savings Plans: How Do They Operate?

Dental Savings Plans: How Do They Operate?

The cost of visiting the dentist might be reduced if you have one of these.

There are three main ways to pay for dental care: with cash, with a dental savings plan, or by filing a claim with your dental insurance. A savings or discount plan might be the solution if the cost of your dental care is not covered by your health insurance or if you are uninsured and want to cut costs at the dentist. Discover how these plans operate so you can decide if they are appropriate for you.

How Do Dental Savings Plans Work?

Dental savings plans also referred to as dental discount plans, are not the same as health insurance. It’s a benefits program that enables you to benefit from savings and discounts when paying for dental care, as opposed to a dental insurance plan. Similar rebate programs extend beyond dental care to other types of medical care.

To join a dental savings plan, you pay a membership fee rather than monthly premiums like you would with health or dental insurance. The average annual cost for a family is less than $150.

You must always present your savings card to the dental office staff member in order to receive a discount on any necessary dental care services each time you go.

Depending on the plan, the conditions of a dental savings plan, the services that are covered, and the amount of the discount you might be entitled to can vary greatly. For instance, services could fall under one of the following three categories:

  • Preventive procedures, such as cleanings and examinations of the teeth
  • Simple procedures like fillings, extractions, and X-rays
  • such as orthodontics or implants, which require major treatments

Insurers may provide dental savings plans as an alternative to dental insurance. For instance, Humana offers a Dental Savings Plus Plan that offers discounted rates for minor and major care services obtained from an in-network provider along with 20 to 40 percent paid coverage on preventive care services.

Purchasing a dental discount plan directly from a plan provider is an option, but it’s also wise to look into your employer’s benefits program. An alternative to dental insurance that your employer might provide is a dental savings plan.

Pros

  • Brings down the cost of dental care
  • Can help those without dental insurance fill in the gaps
  • No time limit for using the treatment
  • Zero deductibles or copayments
  • No annual limit on the number of dental appointments

Cons

  • It doesn’t completely cover the price of any services
  • Restrictions on who you can consult for care

The benefits of dental savings plans

Saving money on dental care is the main benefit of signing up for a dental discount plan. Your ability to save money will vary depending on the plan and what is covered. If your insurance doesn’t include dental coverage, you should make dental care more affordable. The Centers for Disease Control report that only 50.2% of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 have private health insurance that covers dental care.

There are additional justifications for why a dental discount plan might be a better option than dental insurance. For instance, unlike traditional dental insurance, a dental savings plan may not require a waiting period before you can start using your benefits.

As opposed to dental insurance, there aren’t any deductibles or copays to be concerned about. Additionally, with a dental savings plan, you might have unlimited access to services throughout the year. In contrast, a dental insurance plan might have a cap on the number of covered visits you can schedule.

Note: To find out whether cosmetic dentistry or urgent dental repairs are covered, carefully read the fine print in a dental savings plan agreement.

The drawbacks of dental savings plans

While there are some justifications for thinking about a dental discount plan, there are also some possible drawbacks.

First off, even preventive care is typically not entirely covered by these plans. Unlike dental insurance, which may pay for two cleanings and checkups for each family member enrolled in the plan each year, this is not the case. As a result, you must plan your finances to cover the shortfall after the discount has been applied.

Second, depending on the plan, your options for providers may be limited. For instance, if you purchase a dental savings plan from an insurance provider, it might only allow you to visit dentists who are part of its network. Alternatively, if you sign up for a dental discount program offered by your dentist’s office, you might not be able to transfer the program to a different dentist if you decide to switch providers.

Who Should Take a Dental Savings Plan Into Account?

  • Some people may benefit more from dental savings plans than others. Here are some situations where a dental savings plan might make sense if you’re debating whether to try one: You don’t require much dental care. A discount plan option might allow you to save money if you practice good oral hygiene and don’t require any additional care beyond checkups and cleanings.
  • You need extensive dental work done: If your dental insurance only partially covers the costs of your care, a dental discount plan may still be able to help you. When it comes to paying out-of-pocket costs for dental care, having both dental insurance and a dental savings plan may help you save money.
  • While looking for work, you should get dental care: If you lose your dental insurance due to being laid off, a discount plan might be able to help you bridge the gap until you can join the insurance program offered by your new employer.
  • You have Medicare; however, the majority of dental care is not covered by Medicare. A dental discount plan may help you pay less for preventive care, essential, or major dental services if you have Medicare and need them.

Conduct research on dental savings.

Compare your savings plan options carefully if you believe a dental care discount plan might be right for you. Examine the costs, the scope of the covered services, the providers permitted by the plan, and the estimated discount for major, preventive, and basic services. This can assist you in determining which dental savings plan would suit your needs and budget the most.

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