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Discount Dental Plans and Affordable Dental Care

Discount Dental Plans and Affordable Dental Care


Posted by: Purrfect Dential

Healthy teeth and gums play a fundamental role in our overall health. Regrettably, rising dental insurance premiums and treatment costs have made dental care inaccessible to many people across the nation. Today, there are more than 108 million children and adults without dental insurance in the U.S. As the need for affordable dental care continues to grow, more and more people turn toward discount dental plans as a cost-effective and easy-to-use alternative to dental insurance.

Current research shows a clear shift in the dental benefits marketplace attributed, in part, to concerns with cost, choice and service. Many consumers and employers are moving away from the inflated premiums, strict restrictions, poor service and other limitations often associated with traditional dental insurance and are looking toward the savings and benefits offered by discount dental plans. “With an estimated 45% of Americans not having any type of dental coverage, and the dental insurance marketplace offering few, affordable dental products for individuals, discount dental plans are an attractive answer to the need to reduce consumer out-of-pocket costs and increase access to care.”

Discount dental plans provide consumers with the value they desire by offering access to affordable, quality dental care at a low price and with an emphasis on choice and service. Plan members pay a low annual membership fee and are granted access to a network of participating providers offering discounts of 10% to 60% on most dental procedures, including braces, root canals, crowns, dentures, cosmetic dentistry and more on select plans. Certain plans even include discounts on additional benefits, including prescription, vision, hearing and chiropractic care.

Discount dental plans, designed to provide significant savings on members’ dental care needs, have quickly become an attractive alternative to costly dental insurance. Traditional dental insurance, once the only dental benefit option available, features many drawbacks including costly deductibles, tedious claim forms, long waiting periods and other limitations. On the other hand, discount dental plans are more cost-effective, easy-to-use and free of these hassles.

Additionally, discount dental plans – starting at $79.95 per year for individuals and $129.95 per year for families – are much more affordable than dental insurance. According to a 2005 report by the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), a trusted representative of the dental benefits industry, the average monthly premium for individual dental HMO insurance is nearly $16 (about $192 per year), compared to nearly $24 (about $288 per year) for individual dental PPO insurance and nearly $31 (about $372 per year) for individual dental indemnity insurance. According to NADP, “Discount dental plans have become an economical and important alternative to combat the rising cost of health care. They are a cost-effective vehicle for millions of undeserved consumers to improve their access to dental care.”

Discount dental plans also provide businesses and other groups with dental benefits that are easy to implement and practically effortless to manage. Many businesses are using discount dental plans to offer dental benefits to people that are rarely covered by traditional dental insurance, including retirees, part-timers, seasonal workers and uninsured dependents. Businesses can protect their employees’ health and provide peace of mind by encouraging their team to join a money-saving discount dental plan.

In short, discount dental plans offer individual, families, businesses and other groups with a great deal of value by providing access to affordable dental care without sacrificing service or flexibility. Discount dental plans are an ideal solution for anyone looking to save money while improving their oral health.

Dental Plan Expert

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Dental Benefit Trends for Employers – Dental Benefits- Past, Present and Future

Dental Benefit Trends for Employers – Dental Benefits- Past, Present and Future


Posted by: Purrfect Dential

In today’s competitive marketplace, most businesses wish they could provide current and potential employees with comprehensive dental care benefits. “Dental plans rank as the third most important employee benefit, just behind health and retirement.”18 According to Cathy Smithwick, dental practice leader at Mercer Consulting, dental coverage is the “visible benefit because on average 75% of employees will use a good dental plan.”19

Dental benefits not only increase employee satisfaction and morale, but they can also cut down the hours lost due to dental issues. According to Oral Health in America, “employed adults lost more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental visits.”10

A recent study from NADP shows that only 56% of the U.S. population has dental insurance.11 Therefore, inexpensive dental care solutions are highly coveted by both employers and employees. “To satisfy employee demand, more employers added dental to the benefits menu in recent years. One of the final holdouts, the federal government, will offer dental benefits to employees in 2006.”20

“Seven out of ten employers (71%) offer dental benefits, often using them as the differentiating factor in recruiting and retaining employees.”18 The research shows that the larger a business is, the more likely they are to offer dental benefits. “Among firms with at least 10 employees, 56% offered dental coverage in 2003. Just one year later, that figure leaped to 67%, according to an annual survey of employer-sponsored health plans by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Dental offerings among large employers (500 employers and up) jumped from 90% to 96% of firms.”20

Unfortunately, many businesses cannot afford to pay all or part of their employees’ dental benefits. “Mercer data show dental costs averaged $577 for all employers in employers in 2003 and edged up to $598 in 2004, a 3.6% increase. Large employers, meanwhile, saw a 5.4% increase from $574 to $605.”20 According to Evelyn Ireland, Executive Director of NADP, “employers aren’t dropping dental coverage, but they’re squeezing the amount of money they’re contributing to it.”20 So as the cost of providing dental benefits to their employees continues to rise, businesses are passing these price hikes on to employees. “The most obvious way for employers to control dental costs … is to make employees pay more.”20

Kirk Rothrock, CEO of CompBenefits, believes that many businesses are shifting the cost of dental benefits to their employees.20 “The biggest trend we’ve seen over the last three or four years is the move from employer-paid benefits to voluntary benefits,” he says. “Employers are saying, ‘I can no longer afford to pay your dental benefits.’”20 The State of the Dental Benefits Market, 2005 confirms that “over 70% of the population is paying at least a portion of their dental premiums” and about 25% are paying for their entire dental premium.16

Many businesses are turning to discount dental plans, an affordable alternative to dental insurance, to defray the costs of providing their employees with valuable dental benefits. Discount dental plans present flexible, affordable dental benefits that are easy to implement and practically effortless to manage. They provide businesses with an ideal way complement their existing benefits and offer a more balanced benefits package. Many businesses are using discount dental plans to offer dental benefits to the people that are rarely covered by traditional dental insurance, including retirees, part-timers, seasonal workers and uninsured dependants.

Discount dental plans are much less expensive than the $600 many companies are currently paying to cover employees with traditional dental insurance. Furthermore, discount dental plans save businesses valuable company time with convenient dental benefit solutions free of tedious paperwork hassles. By giving employees the freedom to choose their own plan, businesses are relieved from the burden of picking dental benefits to fit the unique, individual needs of their diverse workforce. Discount dental plans allow businesses to award their employees with the peace of mind they deserve and the affordable dental care they desire.

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discount dental plan [http://dental-care-plan.blogspot.com]

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