Dental discount plans vs insurance plans: the better option

by admin on June 10, 2009

In recent years, an increasing trend towards the use of dental discount plans in place of insurance plans is starting to emerge.

Many people can be seen to switch to dental discount plans simply due to its attractiveness as a cheaper option in the context of the rising insurance costs, and the misconception that dental discount plans provide the same benefits of insurance. An informed decision for the switch is not as prevalent as it should be.

Medical Discount plans : A clarification

Even though a significant number of people now opt for dental discount plans instead of insurance, not many are aware of what exactly a discount plan entails.

A discount plan is a scheme that offers lower discounted prices for services obtained from providers that are members of the plan. This service is provided for a monthly fee. The discount levels can vary from widely from service to service, and from provider to provider.

Dental Discount plans : The advantages

Even with work place options, many people are finding it more and more difficult to afford the monthly insurance premiums. In such cases, there is a higher tendency to drop the dental insurance benefits rather than any other, as dental health is generally not considered a priority.

Unlike insurance, however, with a dental discount plan

  • there are fewer limits/ restrictions on the age, number of visits and the services available
  • pre-existing conditions are covered
  • there is more flexibility to change providers

Companies can offer or provide information about the discount plans to their employees without incurring any additional costs.

For such persons, a discount plan provides a much awaited low cost solution. Reputed companies have extensive networks of providers that that offer considerable discounts. They also offer package deals/ offers for the whole family to further ease the cost burden.

Dental Discount plans : The disadvantages

It should be kept in mind that a discount plan is, however, not insurance.

Therefore, with such a plan the medical bills still need to be paid by the patient. This may cause unnecessary hassle when requiring an urgent visit to the hospital.

Due to discount plans being a novel concept, there is a high prevalence of dishonest providers in the market as well. A person proposing to switch to a discount plan needs to be doubly cautious when selecting such a plan.

Misleading terms in advertisements such as “coverage” and “long term care” should be closely investigated to ensure their validity. A patient who is under the impression that such terms offer insurance will be greatly inconvenienced when the time arrives to pay for large medical bills.

Dental Discount plans : Yes or No

As can be seen discount plans have their benefits and risks.
The decision to use a dental discount plan instead of insurance is solely at the discretion of the patient depending on the value he expects for his money spent.

If a person is considering making the switch, what is most important is that a thorough understanding is obtained beforehand of how the plan works and the exact benefits and costs involved of that particular plan.

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