Dental Insurance Vs Dental Discount Plans – Which is the Best Value?
Typically, dental Insurance has been an added employer group health insurance benefit. Unless the consumer had group health insurance available, dental insurance has been nearly impossible to obtain. As the health insurance market is changing rapidly, many benefits are now being offered by private insurance companies to individuals and families regardless of group insurance.
Web searches for “dental insurance” usually show results for dental discount plans. Discount plans are cheaper than actual dental insurance. Discount plans usually pay a certain amount toward the dental procedure. There is no deductible for discount plans and usually no waiting for benefits.
Dental insurance has a deductible to be met (usually $50-$100 yearly per insured). Insurance pays a % of the charge instead of a certain pre-determined amount. There is a small office insurance. Cleanings are normally paid at !00% and x-rays at 80%-90%. There is normally a 4 month wait for basic services such as fillings. Major procedures, such as root canals, have a 12-15 month waiting period before coverage will be paid.
Dental fees vary from dentist to dentist. An average price for initial cleaning and x-rays can run $260. After 6 months the price goes down because no x-rays are needed. A percentage paid (100%-90%) would usually pay higher and be more beneficial for the patient than just a set fee paid. If fillings are needed, a percentage paid is also much better than just a set amount. Take your monthly premium and multiply times 12 for the yearly premium total. Take an average dental fee of $260 for initial cleaning and x-rays and 6 months later your 2nd cleaning about $90. If your yearly premium (plus your annual deductible) is less than $350 then your already $48 ahead. Now if you need some fillings or any simple extractions, your insurance is certainly worth it.
When using dental insurance it is best to use a PPO doctor that is in the insurance companies network. These dentists have agreed to a certain price charged in order to save you even more money.
Be sure you understand what the yearly deductible and co-pays are. Also, have a clear understanding of the waiting period for major dental work. Dental care is essential to good health but can be quite expensive. Insurance premiums may be more than discount plans but in the end could save you $$$.