Is individual dental insurance really your best option or would a dental discount plan make more sense? Well, there are a few things that you need to determine before you spend your hard earned money on either one. Let's take a look at both dental insurance and discount dental plans and weigh the "pro's and con's" of both real quick.
Dental insurance for individuals can cost all the way up to fifty dollars per month, depending on where you buy your policy, and the benefits that are included. Here are some things that you need to look at in dental insurance policies before you buy.
Does the insurance coverage pay for pre-existing conditions or if there is a waiting period of six months or a year? A "pre-existing" condition is a condition that you had at the time that you purchase the dental insurance policy. For example, you have an obvious cavity that needs to be filled. In this case, your insurance would not pay anything and you would be forced to pay 100% out of pocket.
Other questions would be "how long do I have to wait before I receive full coverage?" "Is there a deductible and if so, how much?" "Does the dentist bill you for the procedures or do I have to pay him and then wait for you to repay me the money?" "Do you provide 100% coverage on anything and if so, when?"
Individual dental insurance is not necessarily a bad thing if you have the benefit of getting it through your employer's group dental plan. Many of these plans will provide more thorough coverage than the average insurance policy purchased through a private agent.
Discount dental plans are less expensive than dental insurance and may be your best option for individual benefits. These discount plans are not insurance, but a network of dentists that have set up a discount fee scale for you becoming a member. This has advantages for both you and the dentist. They get paid money on the spot for their services rendered. They do not have any insurance companies to bill and no waiting up to forty five days in order to get their money back, if at all. There have been cases where dentists did not get paid because they found out "after the fact" that the procedure performed was not covered by the insurance provider. This is not an everyday occurrence, but it makes cash for a discount that much more appealing.
The one drawback to the discount plans is that you must pay for the procedures at the time of the visit to the dentist. However, dental insurance is very similar because of the lack of coverage it provides. Also, even if the procedure was covered by the individual dental insurance plan, you would still be responsible for the higher premiums and the deductible.
Dental discount plans include benefits for pre-existing conditions and there are no age limits or exclusions. Some of the plans even provide discounts for cosmetic dentistry, which is normally extremely expensive.
So should you buy an individual dental discount plan or an individual dental insurance plan? The choice is up to you.