#best dental insurance
:DentalPlans.com Review Find Discount Dental Insurance Alternatives
AT A GLANCE
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How often do you go to the dentist or eye doctor? If you re like me, probably not often enough. Sometimes, though, whether you simply need a routine checkup or a more serious issue demands treatment, you ve got to get your teeth and eyes examined by a professional.
:DentalPlans note the clever sideways grin may be able to make those periodic trips more affordable. The company connects you with about 40 providers of dental savings plans and a handful of more comprehensive savings plans also known as multi-benefit, or simply other plans for visits to the optometrist, hearing care provider, chiropractor, and pharmacy. Depending on their terms, these plans may provide discounts on cleanings, eye and hearing exams, prescriptions, and certain procedures, such as tonsillectomies.
It s important to note that these plans aren t dental insurance. Instead. DentalPlans offers discounted rates (typical discounts range from 10% to 60% of full cost) on specific services at participating providers. Each plan comes with an annual membership fee that can range from less than $30 to nearly $200, depending on location, services covered, and participating providers. Another key distinction: These products don t count as qualified plans under the Affordable Care Act .
You should also know that your current provider may not accept some plans before opening one up, be sure to search for a participating practice in your area. While :DentalPlans does have a few multi-benefit savings plan options, which combine savings on dental work, eye care, prescriptions, and other services, there are far more dental-only savings plans. Accordingly, it may be harder to find a participating optometrist, audiologist, chiropractor, or pharmacy near you.
How It Works
You can search for and purchase dental plans and multi-benefit plans (which include vision, chiropractic, prescription, hearing, and other services) for individuals or families. These plans vary by state, so your options may differ from other locations.
You purchase and pay through :DentalPlans, but plans are actually administered by their issuers. Participating issuers include recognizable companies like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Delta Dental, as well as smaller companies such as QualiDent, UniCare, and Amacore Dental. DentalPlans claims to have more than 100,000 participating dentists and a smaller but unspecified number of other providers in its network.
One major difference between these plans and traditional insurance plans: You must pay the annual membership fee upfront. Unlike insurance plans, which allow you to pay monthly premiums, there s no monthly billing option on any products offered through :DentalPlans.
Basics of Dental and Multi-Benefit Savings Plans
Like a traditional insurance policy, your savings plan comes with a membership card and unique ID that entitles you to preset discounts on services and procedures. To ensure that your plan is accepted, you should offer up your membership ID when establishing a relationship with a provider. For billing purposes, you also need to show your card when you leave the office after a visit.
Unlike a regular insurance policy, your savings plan doesn t come with a copay, coinsurance, or other expenses. You simply pay a discounted rate for the services you receive. You can t use your savings plan in conjunction with any other insurance or savings plan, though you may use it to offset costs that exceed your dental insurance plan s annual coverage cap.
For each dental savings plan, you pay an annual membership fee that ranges from about $80 to $180 for an individual and about $110 to $280 for a family. Fees for other savings plans, such as vision and chiropractic, range from $30 to $50 for individuals and $50 to $80 for families. Unless otherwise stated, all plans activate three calendar days after you purchase them. They automatically renew each year unless you choose the Do Not Renew setting on your account dashboard.
Savings on Services
For all plans, the fee entitles you to savings of 10% to 60% on the cost of an office visit or procedure the exact discount depends on the specific plan and what you re paying for. To arrive at the discount, the plan sets a maximum cost for each service, procedure, or prescription. For instance, a multi-benefit plan offered by Bonus Benefits caps the cost of an in-ear hearing aid at $670, compared to a nationwide average cost of $873. A dental-only savings plan offered by CVS Caremark caps the cost of a routine dental checkup at $24, compared to a nationwide average of $57.