Dental insurance is one of those things that you try your best not to think about. It seems really important when you’re first choosing your plan, and then again once every six months or so. In the interim, you probably don’t even think about it!
Dental insurance is a strange type compared to most other insurances. Other insurance can be thought of in times of need. House insurance, car insurance, health insurance, is all taken advantage of when lump sum costs need to be met. Dental insurance is more of a free-for-service plan than traditional insurance. Employers and insurance companies know roundabout how much a typical dental “customer” will spend over the course of a traditional service contract.
If other insurances worked like this, car insurance would cover oil changes, tune ups, 80% on brake replacements and 50% reimbursement on accidents.
Do I need it?
Dental services can get expensive if you have emergency issues (cavities, extractions, braces) or aesthetic services (Invisalign, whitening) then it can be expensive to be without. On the flip side, dental premiums can cost upwards of $500 for a single person, and a “typical” person might only spend $200 a year on typical dental visits. This means that for a single person, insurance might be 250% more expensive in a year than not having it.
So not having insurance is a bit of a toss up! If you always need dental work and your work offers insurance, then do it, if not then don’t sweat it.
What are alternatives?
Are there cheaper ways to get dental services? Yes, actually! Some practices (like Hospital Dental group) offer in-house dental plans. These are basic fee-for-service packages that operate in place of insurance. Remember, they’re NOT insurance, you’re simply paying a fee for a year worth of services at covered or discount prices.
For an example, look at how the HDG SmilePlan is structured:
100% Coverage of:
- New patient comprehensive exam
- Periodic exam (3 times/year)
- Limited exam (emergency – 1 time/year)
- Full mouth x-rays (1 time/3 years)
- Bitewings (1 time/year)
- Periapical (ALL)
- Pano (1 time/3 years)
- Adult cleaning (3 times/year)
- Child cleaning (2 times/year)
- Fluoride (2 times/year)
- Perio maintenance (4 times/year)*
50% Coverage of:
- Space maintainers
30% Coverage of:
- Periodontal therapy
- Crowns, bridges
- Root canals, extractions
- Dentures & partials
- Cosmetic dentistry
- And more!
Save big on these services:
- Invisalign® – $1,000 OFF
- Orthotic & TENS – $150 OFF
Cost (per year):
- First family member – $350
- Second family member – $250
- Each additional member – $150
- Additional option perio plan – $100/member
*Additional Perio Plan available
**Note: All family members must live in the same household
Membership is easy! There are no ID cards or member numbers to remember! All your membership information will be kept in your electronic record.
Sample Fee Savings
|SERVICE||REGULAR FEE||DISCOUNTED FEE|
|Anterior Root Canal||$1,000||$700|
|Orthotic + TENS||$1,000||$700|
Anyone who has dealt with insurance plans before knows the difference having a fallback for emergencies and not. A dental plan is typically cheaper than a comparable insurance plan ($350/yr vs up to $500/yr).
Dental plans are also available to anyone who uses the practice, and not just employees of specific companies.
So which is better? It depends on your situation in all honesty. Dental plans are an everyman’s game and easily accesible. For a larger family that needs more work, insurance might be the way to go depending on your premium and benefits. Only YOU know your situation, but we recommend trying our Dental Plan, and seeing if it doesn’t work better for you and your family.
Thanks for reading, and make sure you stop by our Dental Plan page to learn more!