A dental savings plan is a benefit program that helps you save on dental care if you don’t have dental insurance. With dental insurance, a private or government insurer provides you with coverage for preventative care and dental procedures in exchange for monthly premiums on the health plan you purchase. Most Americans do not have health insurance that also covers dental care. If you are in this category, it might make sense to consider a dental savings plan. Under a dental savings plan, you pay insurers a membership fee and purchase a plan. A dentist who accepts this plan will then offer you a reduction in the cost of certain services.
Here’s what you need to know about both dental insurance and dental savings plans.
Your savings on a dental savings plan largely depends on what kind of plan you purchase. There are two major advantages to having a dental savings plan. Unlike dental insurance, you can avail of discounted dental services as soon as you buy the plan. There is no waiting period. You don’t have to pay deductibles and copays the way you would if you had dental insurance. The payment process and coverage are much more simple and transparent. You also do not have a cap on the number of dentist appointments you make.
Having said that, there are a few downsides to having a dental savings plan. You don’t have a 100 percent discount on most preventative services. With most dental insurance plans, you can get coverage for up to two cleanings and check-ups. You also have to be very careful to check that your dentist is on board with providing you the benefits of your dental savings plan. This can be tricky since most insurers who offer dental savings plans might restrict you from visiting dentists outside their networks.
Ultimately, it might make sense to invest in a dental savings plan if you have reasonably good oral hygiene and have minimal dental care requirements. These plans are also beneficial for people who have lost their jobs and aren’t insured anymore. Medicare plans don’t offer dental coverage so people on Medicare might buy a savings plan to help them with dental care costs. You could also buy a dental savings plan to supplement dental insurance especially if your insurance doesn’t cover all your needs.