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The Anatomy of a Dental Plan

Fariba Zargar
 


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The first thing you need to know about dental plans is they are not dental insurance. The primary distinction is a dental plan provides you with more choices in the types of care that is covered by the policy. For instance, cosmetic procedures are not normally covered by most insurance companies but with a dental plan it is.

When you choose your coverage there are no exclusions for preexisting conditions or health restrictions as there is with dental insurance. A good dental plan will help cover the cost of any preexisting condition. Dental insurance has a waiting period of 3 to 12 months before you can receive dental treatment, and preexisting conditions are not covered.

Another distinction is there are no limits on how many visits or services you need. You won't find any age limits, no waiting period, and no paperwork. I know of one dental plan, as an added benefit, offers an immediate membership card that you can print right from their website. That feature would be extremely beneficial to someone with an emergency. You might be without insurance and find yourself facing an expensive emergency procedure. By signing up online and printing your membership card and choosing your dentist, your dental needs could be handled within hours instead of waiting a month to be eligible for coverage by your insurance policy.

Let's take a look at the costs. With a dental plan you pay an annual membership fee starting somewhere around $80 to $100. The membership fee is determined by the type of coverage a member needs. Many plans offer 3 or 4 different levels of coverage. It is wise to print out the benefits schedule that should be included on their website, and compare the coverage's before you purchase your plan.

With a dental plan, there are no deductibles; instead, you pay the participating dentist a deeply discounted fee for the service provided. When you compare the difference between paying a deductable and the percentage of the service not covered by the insurance company to the cost of the membership fee and deeply discounted fee the dentist offers, discount dental plans become quite attractive.

A dentist often chooses to participate in the plan because there is no paperwork involved as with dental insurance. The dentist does not have to wait for the insurance company to reimburse him or her for the work. Instead, the dentist is paid by the company administering the dental plan for being a member of the network.

There is no need to be concerned about the service. With most dental plans, if you find you are not happy with the dentist, you can call the member services department of your plan and request to change the dentist you had originally chosen.

You will receive the same quality service as someone paying full price for the work performed and you might be surprised at how many dentists are involved in the network, all within easy driving distance of your home or work. You can be assured that most companies are quite concerned about your quality of service and will do whatever is within reason to keep you as a happy member.

Are You ready to compare dental insurance plans? Visit Fariba Zargar's website for some comparisons of the best dental plans .

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