Dental procedures are very expensive and it can be very hard to pay on your own. This is why people either subscribe to dental insurance or get a dental plan. Dental plans are a much easier and hassle free alternative to dental insurance. The members of a plan have access to participating dentists who have agreed to offer services at reduced rates.
Dental plans have no annual limits unlike dental insurance which sets a limit to the amount you can spend in a year. Also insurance may place restrictions on the type of dental treatments that you take. Dental plans relieve you of such restrictions and limits.
The second big advantage is that most dental plans are activated in a short time; usually within a few business days. On the other hand, dental insurance may make you wait for long periods before you are cleared for treatment. The insurance company will have tedious paper work and written claims. Dental plans have no such hassle and members only need to present their membership card at the dentist’s office.
Dental plans also have no health restrictions. Dental insurance places limits and exclusions on pre-existing conditions for clients. Most insurance plans don’t allow cosmetic dental procedures as well.
So in the end with insurance you end up paying expensive premiums for very limited coverage (most of which is rarely used). However, if you get a dental plan you get an access to a whole network of dentists with great discounts on most dental treatments.
How to get a Dental Plan:
Most dental plan networks have presence on the internet. This is the best way to do some research on the coverage they offer.
Visit the websites of companies that offer dental plans. Compare their rates and the extent of their network. Some companies have a large number of participating dentists while other have very few. Although this doesn’t matter much to most people; but it does if you are on the move frequently.
The plan that you want should have a reputable network of dentists. Always visit at least five dentists mentioned in the network to get an idea of their professionalism and their costs. Remember the dental plan only offers a discount on the rate. If the fee is already high in the first place, you may end up paying more than you expect.
The reputation of the dentist is important. Usually it is because many of the newly graduated dentists participate in the plans. New dentists have a fresh approach and will give more attention to you. Because they have to make a name in the market, their performance is mostly way better than that of older dentists.
Once you sign up for a dental plan, you have to pay a yearly payment in advance. This payment will vary depending on what sort of plan you want to get. Plans for routine dental procedures are cheaper while those for cosmetic dentistry may be considerably higher.
Members are then issued a membership card which they need to present at the dentist’s office in order to claim a discount.