Dental Insurance VS: Dental Discount Programs

  • Right now I have BCBS of Florida, dont want to take the chance of them droping because the income change.

    Now, if anybody here could gave me some advice about the difference between dental insurance and dental discount program?

    Which is better? What kind of Dental insurance do you have?

    Luzviminda G. Rivetz
  • The National Association of Dental Practitioners Defines different Dental insurance coverages as follows:

    TYPES OF DENTAL INSURANCE PLANS PLANS: To minimize frustrations with dental benefits, consumers should educate themselves on their choices in dental
    benefits—especially when an employer offers a choice in the type of plan. The most common types of dental benefit offerings include:


    Dental HMOs provide services
    through a network of dentists who
    are paid per enrollee on a monthly
    • Lowest premium for an insured
    benefit plan and low.
    • Predictable out-of-pocket
    There is also usually no annual
    maximum benefit.
    • Smallest network of dentists
    (NOTE: Dentists must have a large
    enough population of enrollees to
    provide the pool of funds needed to
    support services on a per capita basis.)
    • No coverage if a dentist is not in
    the network.

    Dental PPO

    Dental PPOs provide services
    through a network of dentists on a
    discounted fee-for-service basis.
    • Larger network of dentists
    • Scheduled out-of-pocket costs
    although at a higher rate than
    dental HMOs.
    • Some level of payment when a
    dentist that is not in the network
    is used.
    • Medium high premium and copayment

    Dental Indemnity

    Dental indemnity plans reimburse for
    services from any dentist on a feefor-
    service basis.
    • No network of dentists allows
    consumer to use any licenses
    • Highest premium and copayment

    Dental Referral or Access Plan

    Dental referral or access plans
    provide access to a network of
    providers at discounted rates.
    • Leading benefit purchased by
    • Provides some discount from
    dentist’s regular charges.
    • Services must be obtained in
    • Services are paid for by the
    consumer at the discounted rate.
    • This is not insurance but an
    access benefit

    As far as Dental Discount Programs they offer this comparrison and advise on their website :

    Dental Insurance vs. Discount Plans

    Some consumers are confused by the differences between dental insurance and dental "discount" plans. Dental insurance is true insurance. You pay regular premiums for your coverage and your plan has annual spending caps. It generally covers 100 percent of the cost of preventive services after you meet your deductible.

    Dental discount plans are not insurance and they work differently. These are membership-based programs. In exchange for a fee, members get discounts on a variety of dental services, such as fillings, braces, exams, and routine cleanings. Members typically receive about 30 percent off standard out-of-pocket prices. The are akin to "diner's clubs," in which you buy a book of coupons and get a percentage off of your meals at participating restaurants.

    With a dental discount plan, you must go to a dentist who has agreed to participate in the plan and offer services at a discounted price — say $650 for a crown instead of the standard rate of $750.

    Some typical features of these plans:

    An initial enrollment fee.
    A monthly fee to the dental-discount company.
    Discounts on cosmetic procedures that are excluded from most dental insurance plans.

    Be aware that dental discounts plans are not regulated by state insurance departments. That doesn't mean these plans aren't legitimate, but you should take precautions when buying a dental discount plan, especially over the Internet, where you have to provide a variety of confidential information.

    According to the NADP, these are some questions you should always ask a dental insurance or discount plan:

    Are you licensed to offer this plan in this state? True dental insurers must be licensed in your state to sell dental insurance.

    Are you registered with the Secretary of State? All legitimate companies operating in a state should have at least filed documents with the Secretary of State in the state where they are operating.

    Are you registered with the Better Business Bureau? The BBB maintains a large database of companies, where they operate, contact information, and complaint data.

    Where are you located and what is your address of operations? A bogus dental plan is likely to be hesitant to give you this information or will give you an address that is nothing more than a local post office box.

    Can you mail me specifics on the plan before I sign up with the plan? Fraudulent plans are more likely to collect your "membership fee" before they will send you any information. All legitimate plans will have marketing materials that they will be more than happy to send you.

    Do you have a Web site with more information? Most legitimate dental plan companies have extensive Web sites that outline their plan benefits, approximate costs, and the providers accepting the plan in your area.

    Can I get a list of providers on the plan? Avoid any plan that cannot provide you with a list of dentists who accept their plan.

    Can I think about it and get back to you next week? Bogus plans use high-pressure techniques to get you to join the day you call.

    Is your plan endorsed by or affiliated with a legitimate national organization? According to the NADP, a recent bogus dental plan said it was endorsed by the "United Dental Association." There is no such organization.


  • link

    Got it, thanks.

    I do have dentist insurance through the company that I worked for. I wanted to add them but, it will cost me twice if I get it privately. I tried privately and I cant get it without an adult, this mean I have to pay for something that I am not going to used for myself, just for my kids. And they wont even let you pay it by check, you have to have them do a bank draft or pay in full year ahead. Also, if I get it through my work the policies has a waiting period if they have to do something heavy.
  • Awesome information Val. Thanks for sharing it!!

    In answer to "What kind of Dental insurance do you have?":
    We currently have Metlife, and if the dental work you need to have done is "preventative" we don't pay anything, but if it is something special, non-preventative, than it's out of pocket. There is a dentistry near us that is "family" related (i.e. Ped's, adults, hygienic, etc), not only is there a person available for your family's dental needs, but if you are a new patient w/o insurance they have a $40.00 deal for x-rays (digital), cleaning, and exam. a little extra for non-standard cleaning, and they have Pay options available. I found this all out, before I was informed that we have Metlife (we thought it was the BCBS of TX).
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