Dental savings plans, also known as dental discount plans or dental discount programs, are not a substitute for dental insurance, but they may be able to give you access to more oral health services that you require or desire but which your dental insurance may not cover.
One of the most frequent reasons people enroll in dental savings programs is for orthodontic procedures. Dental insurance seldom covers adult braces, and they can be exceedingly expensive without assistance.
Dental savings plans, which are membership programs rather than dental insurance, have a monthly or annual premium. Adding a savings plan can enable you to pay for more cleanings, whitening treatments, and even cosmetic dentistry if you require more care than your dental plan will cover.
A Dental Savings Plan: What Is It?
Many essential procedures that keep your smile healthy are covered by dental insurance programs. The majority of dental health insurance plans offer enough coverage for complete treatment, from routine cleanings to emergency care.
For dental services that your insurance policy might not cover, dental savings plans are a great option. Dental savings plans typically cost $100 to $200 each year, but you can ultimately save thousands of dollars by saving anywhere from 10% to 60% on the price of oral care services.
Dental Savings Plans: How Do They Operate?
Depending on how you sign up for this program, a dental savings plan may also be referred to as a dental discount plan. For instance, your employer-based dental insurance may have a companion plan that offers additional discounts for particular procedures at particular dentists or dental groups.
Additionally, you might be able to set up a monthly payment-based savings plan distinct from your standard dental insurance that will give you a predetermined sum of money to use on the dental treatment of your choice.
The most popular kind of dental savings plan gives you price breaks on procedures and other services. Although it is a fantastic supplement to dental insurance, it is not a substitute and is not regarded as insurance.
Nevertheless, a dental savings plan might assist you in getting the care you could require even if your usual insurance does not pay for it. Even though they can make your smile gorgeous, adult braces, teeth whitening, and veneers are a few dental procedures that your typical dental insurance is unlikely to cover.
Discounts are often provided by dental savings plans on three different kinds of dental care:
- Treatment that is preventative, such as x-rays or cleanings
- Basic medical care, such as fillings or extractions
- Major or aesthetic procedures, such as braces or implants
Your dental insurance probably covers some of these procedures, at least in part, although it might not do so as frequently or thoroughly as you require. For instance, even though your dental insurance may only pay for one cleaning per year, your dentist may advise two or three. The price of the extra cleanings might be decreased with a dental savings plan.
Additionally, you could not get complete coverage for a kind of medical care you require. For instance, a dental implant can replace a missing tooth. A replacement tooth can stop bone loss in your jaw, gum disease, and teeth that are moving out of place.
Your insurance will probably cover roughly half the cost if your dentist and health insurance concur that an implant is medically required for your dental health. How does the other half compare? A dental savings plan might further lower your cost as dental implants can be pricey.
A dental savings plan, in contrast to dental insurance, offers an upfront discount on treatment rather than copays or deductibles.
Similar to health and dental insurance, you might need to visit particular doctors or hospitals to qualify for these savings. Choosing the right dental savings plan for your requirements is vital because you will have to select from a list of specific providers.
Dental Discount Plans’ Advantages
When compared to regular insurance, choosing dental discount plans has a number of benefits. They can generally help you save a lot of money. Due to the fact that the dental clinic isn’t affiliated with an insurance provider, both you and the dentist benefit. Additionally, since they don’t have contracts with insurance providers, they may pass the savings on to their patients without having to worry about the “oversight” of an insurance company dictating what is or isn’t covered by the patient’s plan. So you don’t have to cross your fingers that you’re meeting deductibles, waiting periods, or remaining within your annual allowance amounts; you can receive the same discount on dental veneers as you would on dental fillings.
The best part is that you can receive the care you require without the consent of your insurance provider.
Dentists across the nation who participate in national discount dentistry programs accept their discounted packages. Instead of committing to a specific dental insurance carrier, the dentist can join the savings plan’s network and pass the savings forward to their customers. Additionally, you won’t need to reapply for dental coverage or reenroll if you relocate and can still receive the same discount at any other participating dental facility. You have a wide range of dentists to pick from because many specialist practices also participate.
Nothing to Wait For
For up to a year, coverage for dental care may not be accessible under typical dental insurance plans. With dental savings programs, there is no waiting period before you may use your benefits.
Members’ Prices Drop
It’s common to refer to the amount you pay to join a dental discount plan as a membership fee. It is essentially a yearly fee, albeit it can be divided into manageable monthly payments for people or families. As soon as you sign up as a member, your partnering dentist’s office will start offering discounted rates on all of your dental operations. There is an additional discount applied to everything that is NOT offered to non-plan members. Comparable to hidden discounts on all of your dental work.
If your savings strategy is successful, it is simple to extend it each year. You can sign up for another one if you don’t like this one! You are not bound by any commitments to remain a member of the program, so if your dentist changes or you relocate, you may simply switch to a new plan. You can also cancel your renewal whenever you’d like if, for some reason, you decide that your current insurance suits your needs more than a budget dentistry plan (which is exceedingly unusual).
Although every business is unique, the majority of inexpensive dental plans include every service. You can save money on the treatments you require, such as orthodontic treatment or elective aesthetic procedures like dental veneers. People who use insurance, however, are not permitted to use their benefits to pay for cosmetic procedures. Before enrolling in the savings plan, be sure to ask your dentist if a particular procedure, such as Invisalign or All-on-4 implants, is covered. Although you should double check, especially if it is a private membership plan, it most likely will be.
The maximum annual allowable are a significant one. It’s a common saying that means “Your insurance company won’t pay more than $1,500 for treatments within a calendar year.” There are no restrictions to take into account if you have a membership or discount plan. Without having to worry about your benefits “running out,” you can budget for a $200 teeth whitening procedure, a $3,500 Invisalign case, or a $10,000 smile makeover and receive the same discounted pricing on each session.
When using a discount plan, the cost of dental procedures is about equivalent to what your insurance provider pays the dentist when you use insurance. However, because you are not paying co-pays, deductibles, or additional fees, the cost to you is lower. Knowing exactly how much of your therapy is covered, you may instantly enjoy the decreased price. You’ll probably start saving money as soon as you use your plan for preventative care services.
Size of the Paperwork
This benefit alone is worth a million dollars. Insurance claims DO NOT need to be filed. When your insurance provider determines they won’t cover anything, you don’t have to wait for your dentist to call and “estimate” what is covered or get charged the difference. Depending on the operation you’re having, the billing and insurance claim process could easily take weeks or months.
Having a membership program or dental savings plan is similar to having an instant discount that you may use at your appointment’s checkout. Insurance can be a major hassle, particularly if you require extensive dental work or have “bad teeth.” The process is made easier by a membership program.