If the cost of your routine check-ups with the dentist has recently been creating a hole in your pockets, then probably you should start finding a way to cut back on these expenses. Although it does not necessarily mean that you should stop seeing your dentist completely, having "financial backup" can help you save a lot without having to sacrifice your orthodontic needs. This is where you can definitely take advantage of a supplementary dental insurance plan.
The supplemental dental insurance plan was conceived to serve as a substitute for the out-of-pocket payments during dental visits. Mostly, most people find it hard to pay for the dental services that are not covered by their individual or employer-based dental insurance policies. Here, as "supplemental" as it was named, this plan helps the patients in obtaining a "holistic" dental health care.
It must be understood that a supplementary dental insurance plan is not intended to replace the existing health or dental plans. Rather, it simply acts as a secondary insurance that will cover for the dental service charges, which are way beyond the usual coverage in standard policies. For example, most insurance companies will not pay for a dental implant because it is considered as part of the cosmetic dentistry; thus, it is not actually approved as a corrective dental treatment. For this reason, you may consider applying for a supplementary insurance so your expenses for the said procedure are still covered.
There are at least two popular types of supplementary insurance for dental health that exist today. These are the discounted dental plan and the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) dental insurance. Both insurance policies have their own set of features that can help individuals in making their decisions regarding the right kind of coverage to apply for. Basically, the main difference of these two plans is the cost of their monthly promotions.
In a discounted dental plan, the policyholders are provided with their requested dental services for a discounted rate. Although it sounds like it is purely a discount coupon for patients, this insurance plan could easily transform the expenses into savings by deducting a reasonable amount from the standard cost of a dental procedure. The monthly premiums for this plan are generally around $ 5 to $ 10.
On the other hand, PPO is a supplementary dental insurance plan that works by providing the members with dental services from its established network of dental practitioners. However, if the patient prefers to be treated by a certain dentist who is not enrolled to the network, he may still avail of the insurance benefits provided that he agreements for a co-payment. Its monthly premium can range from $ 15 to $ 25.
Supplemental dental insurance is simply insurance that is purchased directly from the insurance company itself. Someone looking to find dental coverage will go through this insurance company rather than through their workplace because their job may not offer dental coverage. It is not uncommon for employers to offer very little if any dental coverage at all, but some are offering an option for you to opt in or opt out of a supplementary dental insurance policy, in which they will pay part of your premium.
The reason this type of dental insurance is becoming so popular is that the costs of dentistry has gone through the roof and then have the premiums, so that employers are no longer able to offer those dental insurance plans to their workers.
So who really needs supplementary dental insurance?
1. The self employed. They have to pay their own dental costs and there are discount dental plans that can save a lot of money on both individual dental care and for families of the self-employed as well. Self-employed dental care can offer discounts on basic care like cleansings and x-rays and for cosmetic dentistry as well, like teeth-whitening and braces.
2. Business owners. Employers will find it easier to offer this type of dental care to their employees. In many cases dental insurance companies will make supplementary and voluntary dental insurance available even if the business is relatively small.
3. Those in need of a lot of dental work. If you have put off going to the dentist because you can not afford dental insurance and you know you need a lot of work done on your teeth, then a discount dental plan may be the best option for you. Do not try to go in there and pay for all your dentistry at full price.
Supplemental dental insurance is simply the best option for most people, especially since full dental coverage is no longer offered by most employers. Oral health is very important so look at your options and make an informed decision for the preservation of your smile.[Top]
Many people mistakenly assume that all their dental needs are covered by their health insurance plans. While many health insurance plans – most notably HMOs – may offer some dental coverage, most of your dental needs will not be covered by the normal health insurance plan. In fact, you may even find that a dental insurance plan only goes so far in covering your true dental costs. Supplemental dental insurance can help cover your out of pocket expenses, or lower your dental costs with participation in various dental plans.
Supplemental dental insurance is not meant to be your primary dental insurance. Rather, it's meant to help cover the costs associated with your dental needs which may not be covered by your primary health or dental coverage. There are several varieties of dental insurance supplement plans, but they fall under a few broad categories.
Dental Discount Plans
A dental discount plan is designed to lower dental costs by leveraging the large number of their members to negotiate lower prices for their members. Discount dental plans are not actually dental insurance, but they do lower your dental costs by passing the savings on to you. You save money by getting your dental care and service provided by their member dentists. When you pay, you present your dental discount plan member card, and are billed at the discounted price for members. A discount dental plan can cost as little as $ 5 per month per person covered.
Discounted Student Dental Plans
Because college students often lose dental and health coverage on their parents' dental plans when they reach 18, many colleges have opted to provide discounted student dental plans for their registered students. Typically, the discounted plans provide limited benefits such as cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, routine fillings and emergency dental treatment for pain relief. The services may be absolutely paid for by the supplementary dental insurance policy, or may involve a small co-payment. Costs for student supplemental dental insurance are generally low, from $ 125- $ 175 per student.
Dental Insurance Preferred Provider Network
One popular type of dental insurance plan is a preferred provider network. With a preferred provider plan, you can choose from any dentist who is a member of the network for your dental care – and switch dentists whenever you like. The dental insurance plan pays a fixed flat fee for any service provided, and you pay the rest. Cost is generally $ 15-20 per month.[Top]
In this day and age of reduced benefits by employers, you may find yourself under-insured or uninsured against large dental expenses. People who are non-traditional workers, such as a freelance writer, temporary or part-time employee, student, or someone who employs offers no or very basic dental coverage can benefit by purchasing supplementary dental insurance . This is insurance coverage you obtain on your own and not as part of an employer group.
If you are facing dental expenses and have insurance through your employer, your first step in determining whether the coverage is adequate is to get all the details possible about your plan. Ask your employer, go online to the insurer's website or make a call to the insurance company to get a detailed description of what services are covered.
Should you find the insurance to be insufficient for your needs and you are not able to afford the difference out-of-pocket, it would be a good time to consider purchasing supplementary dental insurance. A Google search of that term will bring up several options to choose from.
Once you have the names of the companies that provide supplementary dental insurance, there are some important factors to consider before making your final decision. First, know that you may be eligible to purchase additional insurance through the plan you already have with your employer. If that is not an option or you do not have employer-sponsored insurance, shop around for places where you could purchase with group buying power. A few examples of this would be through a local credit union, a professional organization or the American Association of Retired Persons.
Shop around to find the right insurance company to fit your needs. Be sure to ask if there are exceptions for any pre-existing conditions, whether there is a maximum annual benefit limit, and if there is a waiting period for restrictive services. Consider your budget when determining how the insurance plan will be billed, whether it will be monthly or some other way.
Many people who seek supplemental dental insurance do so because they need more than the basic services that employer-sponsored plan generally provides. Braces, root canals, dentures and bridge work can add up quickly and really take a "bite" out of the family budget. Knowing there is another insurance plan available to keep costs under control is a peace of mind that people are willing to pay for.[Top]
If you are in the military, your insurance will cover dental care. This coverage will be assured during the time when you are still in active service. For some in active service, that may be in real need of excess dental care for their family members, a supplemental dental insurance coverage can be made. Actually, this is not a common occurrence among most military personnel as the coverage they get to cover the cost of their family's dental care are usually more than enough to cover their family needs
Retirement from the military will make you to reconsider getting a supplemental dental insurance coverage for your family. This is most especially true to some military men who retired with teenage sons and daughters. Since retirement in the military service is a little bit early as compared to other branches of the government, it would be necessary that a supplementary insurance for dental care of your family will have to be made.
And if you are one of those who have decided to leave the military early for civil life, you would have to reexamine your insurance coverage and consider all the possible needs that your family might have in the near future. An example will be if there is a need for the teeth of your son or daughter to be subordinated to a growth correction with the use of dental braces.
As you will know, dental braces are now quite expensive, away from the dental service that goes with it. This is more particularly true now, since there seems to be a fad among the youngger generation to have dental braces. Because of these growing demands for dental braces, the cost and service in the installation of these braces have skyrocketed that without the required insurance coverage, you will be hard put to pay for them.
In looking for supplementary dental insurance outside of the military service, you have to be careful because of the proliferation of many insurance scams that are going on today. To be sure, do not insure yourself through agents. Visit an insurance company near your place if any, and ask them if they have supplementary dental insurance offerings.
If you want you can first visit the websites of insurance companies and look for supplementary dental insurance offers. You can find complete listings of supplementary insurance offerings in most sites of insurance companies, complete with price listings and the amount of dental service covered.
If you are looking for dental brace coverage, there are sites that you can go into that offer insurance for dental braces which might be able to suit your needs. Once you find what you are looking for you can then visit their office and personally inquire from them regarding the offer in their website.
More importantly, before you sign on for a policy with the insurance company, try to read first the content of the policy. Study the words of the policy and if there are words or phrases you do not fully understand, you can then ask the officer in charge for an explanation. This is important because you have to know up to what extent will be the coverage. Once you fully understand all the content you can then proceed in applying for the supplementary dental insurance coverage.[Top]