Dental discount plans are kind of like a BJs Warehouse for your mouth…
… In the sense that you pay either a monthly or annual fee and get access to deep discounts on dental services. (Not in the sense that you have to buy a box of 100 tubes of toothpaste to save money.)
Dental Savings Plans vs. Dental Insurance Plans
A lot of people get confused between dental discount plans (aka dental savings plans) and dental insurance plans.
The goal of both a savings plan and dental insurance is you don’t have to pay as much for dental treatment. But there are some big differences between the two.
With insurance, it’s often difficult and/or expensive to get a policy as an individual. You generally need to be a part of a group plan.
That’s not the case with dental savings plans. They’re easy for individuals and families to sign up for.
Some other benefits that dental discounts plans typically have that insurance plans don’t…
- There’s little to no paperwork to fill out. So unless you love filling out forms, that can be a big benefit.
- You don’t have to worry about any health restrictions or pre-existing conditions.
- There are no caps, limits or restrictions on your care. No matter how much you spend on dental care over the course of the year, you’ll be able to use your dental discount plan.
- If you need a lot of cosmetic dentistry treatments, dental insurance plans probably aren’t going to help you much. Cosmetic procedures generally aren’t covered by insurance.
However, with a dental discount plan, cosmetic procedures typically are covered which could lead to big savings for you.
Now, if you’re beginning to think that dental discount plans sound like the best thing since sliced bread, they ain’t all sunshine and roses.
Potential Drawbacks of Dental Discount Plans
One potential drawback of a dental discount plan is that you are limited in which dentists you can go to receive discounted care. If your favorite local dentist isn’t in the plan, then you’ll have to find someone else to go to. And, depending on where you live, your options may be very limited.
Another drawback is, even though you get a discount on your dental work, you still have to pay for the costs out of pocket. If your teeth need a lot of work, even discounted dental treatments can add up quickly.
Lastly, some consumers report that the dental discount companies themselves or the dentists that accept the plan are not always as advertised. And that’s definitely something to look out for.
You’ll find unethical players in any kind of business. Just be sure to do your homework before signing up for a plan.
What Do Dental Discount Plans Cost?
Rates vary but you can find plans for $100 a year or less for individuals. And, in return for that fee, you can see savings of between 10% and 60%. Just depends on the plan and what treatments you get.
So, especially if some cosmetic dentistry work is in your future, it’s worth checking out a dental discount plan. The right plan could wind up saving you a good chunk of dough.