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Dental Insurance vs. Dental Discount Plans — Which Should You Choose?

September 12, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — mdg_team @ 9:13 pm
Patient and dental team member standing at dental office front desk

Dentists are aware that many patients have concerns about the cost of care, so they often accept many dental insurance policies. They might even have an in-house discount plan for patients without insurance. Is one option better than the other? That really depends on your circumstances. This blog post delves into the pros and cons of each provision.

Dental Insurance

There are countless dental insurance policies on the market, so it is important to keep in mind that there can be huge variations in how they work. However, many of them provide coverage that looks something like this:

  • Preventive care: 100% covered
  • Restorative care: 50 – 80% covered

Your plan may allow you to visit any dentist, even specialists, without a referral, and still enjoy a significant reduction in your out-of-pocket costs.

Of course, there are a few downsides to dental insurance. For example, you might need to go through a waiting period of several months before you can receive coverage for certain restorative services. You may also have an annual maximum, which is the highest dollar amount that the insurance company will pay out for services within a calendar year. In many cases, the maximum is around $1,000.

Dental Discount Plans

Dental discount plans are usually operated by a specific dental practice or a private third-party company that has encouraged multiple practices to participate in its program. Just like insurance, discount plans can vary quite a bit, but they do frequently have some things in common:

  • In most cases, patients are not required to pay anything out of pocket for preventive care.
  • You may get to enjoy a discount on virtually all other services, including elective treatments that are not usually covered by insurance.
  • There is no annual maximum and no waiting period before you can use your benefits.

Despite their advantages, dental discount plans do have some drawbacks. For example, you can only use a plan at certain practices. You can also expect to pay more out-of-pocket for restorative services than if you used traditional dental insurance.

Which Should You Choose?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between dental insurance and a dental discount plan. It all depends on your circumstances and preferences. Ask your local dental practice for information about their discount plan so you can see how it measures up to your insurance policy. After a bit of research, you can make a well-informed decision about which path is best for you.

Meet the Practice

Meriden Dental Group accepts more than 200 different dental insurance policies. We also participate in the Essential Dental discount plan. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you save money on the top-quality care we provide, we would be happy to answer your questions. Get in touch with our friendly team at 203-404-6800.

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