How Discount Dental Plans Benefit Members

By Nelda Powers


Discount dental plans allow members to get discounts after using the services of a dentist. Plan participants get to choose the dentist to visit from a list of participating dentists. These plans are different from dental insurance in that members do not pay monthly premiums. They only pay a single yearly fee and they can visit any dentist listed in a plan to enjoy discounts.

Participating dentists agree to charge less for their services in return for having their listings regularly displayed to a large list of patients. There is variation in the discounts offered in these plans. In general, you will enjoy lower rates depending on the type of services you use. For example, this plan may allow you to enjoy preventive and diagnostic services free and cover 80 percent of the cost of basic restorative services.

With many dental plans, you may save a significant amount of money on services like annual teeth cleaning and annual checkups. The main benefit of these programs is that they enable you to visit a dentist even when your budget is tight. They do not pay for the services you receive. Instead, they allow you to get discounts on the procedures you undergo at the practice of a dentist.

Most plans require dentists to register their fee schedules. This makes it easy to detect if a dentist is overcharging. The other benefit of these plans is that they can allow you to include the members of your family, regardless of the relationship. This is beneficial for people who are not immediate family members.

In general, discount plans have specific defined charges for members such as copayments, deductibles and coinsurance. These expenses help ensure that annual fees remain affordable. There may be limitations of the number of times you can receive a specific service. Your age may also determine which services you may receive at discounted rates.

Dental programs also usually have a yearly dollar limit on certain services. After you reach your yearly limit, you cannot enjoy reduced rates on services until the start of the upcoming plan year. However, if you only use routine care services such as exams, X rays and cleanings, it is highly unlikely that you will reach your yearly maximum.

In order to ensure that you do not get confused after receiving a bill from the dentist, you should get an estimate to know how much the services of a dentist will cost upfront. You should then request your dentist to submit the treatment plan to your insurance company for an estimate of the discounts you can receive for being in the dental plan. This professional may have to submit supporting documents or X rays in order for the service to be pre approved.

Insurance companies can provide patients with estimates that show the amount of money that a plan can pay, the amount of money remaining towards their deductibles, the fees they have to pay and if they are about to reach their benefit maximum. Patients should sign up for discount dental plans that cover the services they need and list the professionals they wish to visit. These programs usually come with detailed descriptions about the services covered, limitations, exclusions and requirements.




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