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The Difference Between Dental Insurance and Dental Savings Plans

The Difference Between Dental Insurance and Dental Savings Plans

Is your employer about to drop your dental insurance plan? Are you enrolling in a Marketplace medical policy, but can’t find an affordable option that includes dental coverage? You might want to consider comparing the traditional dental insurance that you’re used to with an alternative like a dental savings plan.

Dental Savings Plans vs. Dental Insurance

For nearly 30 years, most people have either relied on traditional dental insurance or gone without dental coverage at all.

A typical dental insurance plan covers a limited number of preventive care appointments (like cleanings, exams, and x-rays) and basic/major treatments with a co-pay and deductible. Since dental insurance originated, the annual maximum allowable (how much your dental insurance policy will pay) has topped out at about $1,500 a year. That number re-sets annually and doesn’t cover additional treatment once the maximum amount has been reached.

A dental savings plan is like a discount program, which people can buy into as an affordable alternative to traditional insurance. Although it’s not the same thing as insurance, it has a set fee schedule at which different types of dental procedures are discounted. Usually, it’s a 15-50% savings on various dental procedures.

The biggest difference in dental savings plans and traditional insurance is that the savings plan option doesn’t have an annual spending limit. If you want to schedule three cleanings a year instead of two, you can; if you need over $1,500 of dental treatment, you can schedule it all within the same year without worrying about your discounts running out – you can’t do that with insurance.

Which Costs More? Insurance or a Discount Dental Plan?

In most cases, a dental insurance plan offers flat enrollment rates that are predefined by your employer, or that you’ve chosen to add to your medical insurance plan. What most people find though, is that they become frustrated by the number of restrictions on their dental plan which can make it challenging to cover unexpected or large treatment cases.

A dental savings plan is an affordable alternative to insurance because you can purchase the type of discount plan that fits your specific needs and budget. You may just want to save on checkups and cleanings, or you may need a dental discount plan that offers significant savings on complex treatments like crowns, root canals, etc.

Where You Can Use Insurance or a Discount Plan

Insurance and dental savings plans can be used at any dental offices that accept them. The only difference is that some of the more expensive dental insurance plans may allow you to see any dentist, as opposed to just the dentists that participate in a plan’s network – but you’ll likely save more if you do stay in-network. With a dental savings plan, you see only participating dentists.

Cosmetic Dentistry: Is it Covered?

Cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry is usually regarded as cosmetic procedures that are not medically necessary. Most of the time, these services won’t be covered under a dental insurance policy.

Many discount dental plans do include cosmetic dentistry, so check plan details if you anticipate needing services such as whitening or porcelain veneers – even dental implants.

No Claims

Dental savings plans don’t require any type of claims or forms to process to get discounts on your treatment. You pay the dentist the discounted rate when you get the treatment.

Traditional insurance doesn’t reimburse costs until after the treatment is rendered; if a claim is rejected, you could be responsible for the cost of care.

Find Affordable Dental Coverage Today

Does a dental savings plan sound right for you and your family? Contact Aetna Dental Offers to learn more about this affordable insurance alternative. Get a free price quote so that you can compare affordable discount plans with traditional insurance, to find the right dental coverage for your budget.

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