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What’s The Difference Between Dental Discount Programs & Traditional Dental Insurance-Do They Save?

What’s The Difference Between Dental Discount Programs & Traditional Dental Insurance-Do They Save?

Posted by: Purrfect Dential

Maintaining your oral health is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Most people want to make the commitment to improve their oral health, but have a hard time choosing between traditional dental insurance and a dental discount program.

Therefore it’s important to understand how the differences between dental insurance and dental discount programs can affect you.

Dental insurance policies can be typically characterized by monthly premiums, deductibles and annual maximums while dental discount programs are designed to be as accessible as possible; they do not share any of the characteristics of dental insurance.

The monthly premiums for typical dental insurance policies may be as much as $50 a month for individuals and in excess of $100 per month for family plans.

As an alternative, dental discount programs are far less expensive. Dental discount programs start as low as $6.95 per month for individuals, $11.95 per month for couples and $15.95 per month for families. In addition, if you shop around you can find dental discount plans that include free vision care.

Usually, people using dental insurance must meet a deductible before their dental insurance starts to cover their dental care; when making comparisons it’s therefore important to consider the cost of the deductible as one of the overall costs associated with dental insurance.

Annual deductibles typically vary from $50 to $100 per covered individual; it is difficult to put an actual cost on the deductible because it depends on the specific dental insurance policy owned.

Dental discount programs do not have deductibles. Instead, dental discount program members pay a membership fee that qualifies them to pay discounted rates at participating dentists at the time services are rendered.

Most dental insurance plans cap the amount of reimbursement to an annual maximum that is typically $1,000 to $1,500 per year. The insured person is then responsible for any costs over and above the annual maximum.

Dental discount programs do not have annual maximums. Program members are able to use their discount dental cards as often and as much as they want to. There is absolutely no limit to the amount of money members can save by using their dental discount program.

People with dental insurance policies often moan about the time-consuming red tape they are forced to face, including the need to provide written claims, exclusions on pre-existing conditions and the excessive waiting periods for major procedures.

As an alternative, easy to use dental discount programs are designed to save member’s time as well as money!

Nearly all dental insurance policies require policyholders to go through a tedious and very time consuming written claims process, every time they have a claim!

There is no such tedious paperwork and hassles for dental discount cardholders; discount dental program members simply present their membership card to a participating provider at the time of service to receive their discounts.

Dental insurance plans will often either refuse to cover certain procedures or impose a long waiting period.

If you are considering dental insurance you need to be aware that many dental insurance policies have exclusions on pre-existing conditions and may require up to as much as a 18 month waiting period before paying for any major dental treatment.

As an alternative, dental discount programs are free of such limitations and become active almost immediately, allowing program members to join and start saving on their dental care as quickly as possible. Further, dental discount programs offer significant savings on dental specialties, such as orthodontics and teeth whitening, while most dental insurance policies rarely cover such procedures.

The escalating cost of dental insurance makes dental insurance inaccessible to a large number of individuals and families.

Very cost-effective dental discount programs are accessible to individuals, families and businesses as an alternative to costly traditional dental insurance.

Dental discount programs are also an easy and flexible way for businesses to save time and money on valuable dental care for their employees.

Despite the differences between traditional dental insurance and dental discount programs, some of them can even be used together in certain situations to maximize savings.

To summarize, dental discount programs are an affordable and easy to use alternative to traditional dental insurance and offer program members substantial savings on most dental procedures.

Although it’s impossible to accurately compare the costs of traditional dental insurance with dental discount programs, I have estimated a comparison based on a family of four.

Typical dental insurance would carry a premium cost of around $1200 per annum while a dental discount program would cost around $192 in annual membership fees.

Assuming 4 oral exams, 4 teeth cleanings, 1 root canal and 1 extraction over the course of a year the standard dentist’s bill would be around $1184. With traditional insurance the actual cost to the policyholder would be the deductible or approximately $200. With a dental discount program the dentist’s bill would be around $465, all of which would be payable by the discount card member.

The bottom line makes interesting reading; the total cost using traditional dental insurance would be approximately $1400 (annual premiums plus deductible); the total cost with a discount dental program would be approximately $657 (annual membership fee plus the actual cost at the dentist).

Is it any wonder that around 30 million Americans (about 10% of the population) are now using dental discount cards?

Food for thought I think!!

Born in London, England, David Sheath has resided in the USA for more than 20 years. After a successful career in investment banking with UBS and Bear Stearns, spanning some 25 years, David turned his hand to insurance. That led David to the discount health care market where he now owns and manages . specializes in providing individuals, small businesses & associations with money saving discount programs.

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Good, Cheap Dental Insurance Programs

Good, Cheap Dental Insurance Programs

Posted by: Purrfect Dential

If you are smart, you will stay on top of your dental health by seeking consistent dental care. To pay for it, you need to know about the various programs out there.

Most insurance plans are purchased in order to protect consumers from unexpected accidents or illnesses. Dental insurance, however, is different from other forms of insurance. Although dental insurance can protect you if you have an injury or illness regarding your teeth, mostly it is used for preventative purposes. In fact, most dental problems are caused because preventative care is not done. Companies who sell dental insurance know that if their customers receive regular dental care, then they are likely not to need extensive care later on. This saves the dental insurance company money as well.

Because the insurance companies want patients to get preventative care, most dental programs are built to encourage this. Insurance plans vary on how they pay for dental care. Some plans offer their customers a discount on all dental procedures. Some plans will completely cover some procedures, and offer a discount on the others. Preventative care is usually covered or deeply discounted so that it is affordable for all customers to get regular checkups and cleanings.

The care that dental plans offer is divided into three categories. The first is preventative and diagnostic care. These services are usually completely paid for by the insurance or available for a small out of pocket cost to patients. The best dental plans will offer 100% covered preventative dental care. This should include two dental examinations a year. It should also include two dental cleanings a year. X-rays should be done once a year with a more complete series done every three years. If children are covered by the plan, they should be able to receive fluoride treatments and sealants.

The second category of care is typically called basic dental services. This type of care is done to fix minor dental problems before they escalate into larger problems. Ideally, a dental plan should cover around 80% of this type of care. This includes fillings, root canals, treatment for gum disease and tooth extractions. The final category of care is classified as major dental services. Most dental plans will cover about 50% of the cost of this care. Major dental work includes both partial and complete dentures, bridges, and crowns.

There are a few other things that you should look for when selecting a dental plan. Some dental plans will have you pay a percentage of what the dentist actually charges for the procedure. In other cases, the dental plan will determine a set price for each procedure. Which one is better for you depends on the price of dental care in your area. You also need to find out how high the deductible is on your dental plan. Check to see if there is a cap on the insurance benefits and whether it is annual or lifetime. Also, be sure you know the rules regarding pre-existing conditions. There is no one dental plan that will fit the needs of everyone. The best dental plan is one that provides the coverage you need in the most affordable manner.

Thomas Ajava is with – your source for affordable dental care.

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The Plus Sides of Dental Insurance

The Plus Sides of Dental Insurance

Posted by: Purrfect Dential

That monthly payment for dental insurance or a dental care plan might seem a waste for those with seemingly healthy teeth but when you consider how important it is to maintain a good dental care routine, including regular dental check ups and dental cleaning, dental insurance and care plans are generally well worth the money.

Obviously you want to make sure your dental insurance company is offering you the best possible benefits for the most competitive price but then, like all insurance, when looking to take out dental insurance it is well worth shopping around.

A common human trait is to avoid or delay routine dental visits if the cost isn’t covered by a dental insurance policy. When you consider the consequences of such actions dental insurance immediately appears a sound investment to make.

Gum disease can have very serious consequences if not caught in the early stages and is one of the leading causes for the loss of teeth. However, regular dental exams will enable your dentist to identify gum disease in its early stages thus limiting the damage to your teeth and gums. The fact that dental insurance policies offer you two dental exams per year will encourage you to make that all important visit.

Regular dental visits which are covered by dental insurance will also mean that dental cavities are detected at an earlier and more treatable stage and such things as oral cancer, which is a more common than you might think, can be identified and treated before you become another death statistic (oral cancer is perfectly treatable if caught in the early stages).

Poor dental care and lack of dental checkups can result in serious tooth decay, tooth extractions and a gummy smile. Dental insurance covers you for all or a majority of the costs associated with routine dental care but dental insurance does not tend to cover the high cost elements of recovering that perfect smile.

If you loose teeth your options under dental insurance will generally be far more restrictive than those if you are prepared to pay with most of the finer elements of cosmetic dentistry which tend to be excluded from dental insurance although you should still receive discounts for the cosmetic work under dental care plans. The far better and the cheapest option is to go for the regular routine dental visits that are funded through dental insurance!

If you are a smoker or regular tea / coffee drinker the odds are that over time your teeth will become discoloured and stained leaving you feeling self conscious that you no longer have a white smile. One way of helping to rectify years of such tooth ‘neglect’ is to look at teeth whitening an expensive cosmetic dentistry procedure which is unlikely to be covered by dental insurance. The other option is to make good use of dental insurance and visit the dental hygienist every six months. Regular professional cleaning will help reduce the impact of smoking and certain foods and drink which discolour your teeth.
On the face of it dental insurance just seems a lot of money for little reward but when you consider the health and cost consequences of dental neglect (check out the cost of dental implants, dental crowns and dental bridges to get an idea of how much you could be out of pocket!) the value of dental insurance becomes very clear.

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