There are a few important differences between owning a discount dental plan and buying a dental insurance policy. These are things that you absolutely must know before you make a buying decision because, if you don't, there's a good chance that you may waste your money. Let's take a look at the pro's and con's of owning a discount dental plan.
#1. Discount dental plans offer discounts on pre-existing conditions. This is something that you'd have to wait a full year for if you buy insurance. This means that if you need to see a dentist immediately for an existing problem such as caries (cavities), braces, crowns, root canal, etc that you'll receive a good sized discount on the procedure.
#2. Discount plan providers are the same quality dentists and specialists that you would normally see under any other circumstances. These dentists have chosen to accept a reduced fee for service in order to become a part of a network of plan providers. This allows them great buying power and also gives them referral business that they may not have normally received.
#3. You can find a dentist that will accept your discount dental card in most any city in America. Most of these plans have thousands of participating dental providers within their network.
#1. You must pay a fee to join. This shouldn't be much of an issue because you'd have to pay for insurance too, but you must be aware that discount dental plans are not free. Your best deal when joining a plan like this is to pay annually. Some plans offer monthly payments but if you add the total of the 12 monthly payments up you'll find that you would save quite a bit by just paying it off in the beginning.
#2. You must pay for the discounted service at the time of your visit. This means that even though you're getting a discount on the work, you're not going to be able to finance it. If the regular cost for the work is $1000.00 and you receive a 50% discount then you would owe the dentist $500.00 and that must be paid immediately. Once again, this shouldn't be a big deal. After all, if you didn't have the plan you'd either not have the work done because you couldn't afford it or have to pay the entire $1000.00.
#3. Availability of participating providers. This can be a problem if you live far away from a city as there aren't as many providers in rural areas. You should always find a dentist close to you that accepts discount dental plans before you join.
Discount dental plans can be a very good bargain for most people, as long as they're in the right situation and have easy access to a participating provider. Each person will have to determine for themselves if owning a discount dental plan is right for them.
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