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Dental Insurance Introduction
Shaving nicks and toothaches hurt more than they should. While a nick will vanish in a couple of days, toothache will take your pocket for a spin before it goes away. Believe me, dental care is prohibitively expensive, but still a part of necessary health care and very important.
Here comes dental insurance. Not much in the past it was considered a big company perk, dental insurance has today established itself as a must-have benefit. Even most small companies offer dental insurance today to recruit and retain workers.
Dental coverage costs less than 10% of total medical coverage so its affordable and preventive procedures, like cleanings, ensure the overall health of employees, which means a decrease in sick time and increase in productivity.
Various dental insurance plans with numerous variations are available today. You should take proper care and time to consider all options.
Most expensive plans:
Direct reimbursement plans
These plans are the most expensive of the lot. They operate by paying for employee dental coverage from a pool of money set aside by the company for this purpose.
The simplicity of this plan makes it the most effective, the reimbursement is made by a simple formula doing away with the complexity of co-payments, deductibles etc. Even though ADA strongly recommends this plan, this kind of direct dental care may not be affordable by smaller companies.
Least expensive plans:
Managed care plans
Similar to a medical HMO, managed care dental plans need to pay for the treatment through regular co-payments and choose forma pool of dentists to get treated. These plans do various cost-control measures and can more affordable for small businesses.
The co-payment amount varies according to procedure. Preventive procedures are usually performed without co-payment, however advanced procedures will bear higher co-payments.
The choice lies with the company and their financial managers, however great care is recommended in choosing the plan.
Dental Insurance vs. Discounted Dental Plans
Oral health and maintenance of the same is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Prevention and correction of dental problems on time is essential to stem the damage to one of the most important organs of the human body.
Many people do not realize the importance of maintaining their oral health. Most Americans who do are without effective dental coverage. This is mainly due to cutting costs by major businesses effecting employee dental benefits.
People who are used to regular maintenance of dental health are looking at options where they can get dental benefits. One main question on their minds today is “How benefits differ between Dental Insurance and Discount Dental Plans?”
Dental insurance is not available for individuals and families. Is traditionally a coverage offered by employers to their employees who pay monthly premiums for fixed coverage.
This kind of coverage has drawbacks – ceiling on spending, deductible or non-reimbursable issues, and waiting periods for certain kind of dental procedures, limitations and care or disease exclusions. This kind of coverage also involves submission of claims.
Dental Insurance traditionally covers preventive dental services like cleaning and routine examinations at 100% after deductibles are adjusted (they may vary from $20-$50 annually per individual).
However, the choice of the dentist is up to the individual and premium is about $30 a month for individuals and $100 a month for families.
Discount dental plans on the other hand offer dental benefits to everyone and are designed to give access to the dentist networks at discounted rates. They are also known as reduced fee dental plans or affordable dental plans.
They are easy to join and does not involve any paperwork. Discount dental plans are generally membership programs that provide coverage on an annual basis with monthly membership fee.
Consumers get secured discounts on dental services like exams, routine cleanings, extractions, root canals, fillings, dentures, and braces. They save the consumer 10-60% percent off standard fee of visiting a participating network provider or dentist.
The traditional dental insurance and discounted dental plans can also be clubbed together in certain situations to maximize savings.