Introduction to Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans provide significant savings for dental work at a low membership cost and everyone is eligible to enroll.
Why Dental Discount Plans are Necessary
Dental procedures are not covered as part of most medical insurance plans. For that, you have to purchase a separate dental insurance plan or enroll into a dental discount plan.
US residents are mandated to purchase medical insurance. Visitors to USA purchase medical insurance anyway because the cost of healthcare is extremely high in the U.S.
Regardless of residency, many people end up ignoring their dental hygiene and only start looking into buying something when they already have a problem. Unfortunately, the choices are limited at that point.
The Basics of Dental Discount Plans
Enrolling into a dental discount plan is more like getting an annual membership at a warehouse club such as Costco or Sam's club. For an annual fee (or monthly fee), you get significant discounts (ranging from 10% to 60%) at participating dental providers. The quality of care you receive from such dentists would generally be the same if you used dental insurance or paid cash out of your pocket.
There are no claim forms or reimbursements and anyone can enroll.
Dental discount plans help you save money and at the same time allow you to receive the quality dental care you need.
They can cover preventive treatments like cleaning, X-rays, and period checkups as well major treatments such as root canals, crowns, bridges and tooth extraction.
Who are Dental Discount Plans For?
Dental discount plans are helpful for a wide variety of people:
- Visitors to USA, as people without a social security number can't enroll into most dental insurance in most states
- Employees who don't get dental insurance through their employer
- Have reached an annual limit under their dental insurance or are worried about reaching it for the dental work they need
- Have pre-existing dental issues
Dental Insurance vs Dental Discount Plans
Many people wonder whether they should buy dental insurance or enroll into a dental discount plan.
Compared to dental insurance, dental discount plans have many advantages:
- There is generally no annual cap on the benefits included. On the other hand, dental insurance covers a maximum amount, up to $1,000 or $1,500 per year.
- There is generally no limit for frequency of visits.
- There are generally no restrictions on the number of procedures you can get done at a discounted price during a calendar year.
- No claims or paperwork as there is no reimbursement.
- Dental discount plans have no waiting period while most dental insurance plans have a waiting period such as 6 months, 12 months or even 2 years before any major services can be availed. However, you can't get the services first and then expect to be reimbursed for the discounts later. Discount must be applied at the time of service.
- No pre-existing conditions exclusion.
- Dental discount plans generally cost less than dental insurance.
- ACA mandates dental insurance for minor children in addition to medical insurance; however, most dentists don't even accept that dental insurance. You have to either purchase a dental discount plan or pay cash completely out of your pocket.
Dental Discount Plan Savings
You can look into the dental schedule for the price you will pay for each procedure; however, the dentist will determine what exactly you need done and what it would cost you for the treatment you need. Most dentists are reluctant to provide price quotes over the phone. You will have to take an appointment and visit them. They will be able to provide you with the treatment plan.
Dental discount plans provide the discounts listed in the schedule when visiting the general practitioner dentist. If you need to visit a specialist, savings are less and usually a flat 20% discount over their retail price.
Many dental discount plans also provide other services such as vision discount for eye exams, frames and glasses.
Important Additional Information
Dental discount plans are not insurance and are not intended to replace health insurance.
There are no discounts if you visit the provider outside the network. Please make sure that the dentist you want to visit is in the network.
If the dentist prescribes you medicine, it is not covered in the dental discount plan. You may want to check if your medical insurance will cover that and deal with them directly.
Enroll into dental discount plan today and start saving.