Difference Between Dental Insurance and Dental Plans

You might be getting confused between dental insurance and dental plans. Although the aim of both is to help you save money on your dental bill, there is a distinct difference between the two.

There is a clear difference between dental insurance and dental plans, and it is important to learn about how they work and the benefits they provide so you can determine which one will best suit you and your dental care needs. Below you will find the details describing how one differs from the other.

Dental Insurance Basics

Let us first discuss dental insurance. Dental insurance works much like medical insurance where you will be required to pay a monthly premium; however, it is less expensive than health insurance. Dental insurance can be availed through a group plan or through your employer or association if they offer it to their employees. These insurances are not the same; there are different types of dental insurance and the coverage varies depending on the provider. It would be best to go through their packages first so you would know if it is the one you are looking for. The cost of the insurance will also vary by plan and so will be the benefits. But you can get basic dental insurance for as low as $20 per month.
Dental insurance is not cost effective especially if you will pay for it yourself because of the annual deductibles, annual spending limits, non-coverage for pre-existing conditions or the very long wait period to avail of some of the major services. This wait period normally takes about 6-12 months.

What are Dental Plans?

This is why dental plans were introduced as they will really serve as an alternative to dental insurance. Dental plans are not insurance plans at all. Dental plans rely on a network of dentists who agree to participate and provide services at a lower cost in exchange for referrals of new patients. The dentists that agreed to offer this discount plan for services performed only have one condition and that is they get paid at the time of the visit for the procedure or treatment done. This is because it takes 45-90 days for them to get paid by the dental insurance companies after they have completed the work. Not only that, it costs dentists money, time and effort to fill out insurance forms to get their payments. There are even instances that the claim can be rejected even after the work is done and the reasons for this may vary: dental insurance companies may state that the patient treated is no longer covered or the procedure was not part of the plan’s coverage.

Dental plans are usually very inexpensive and after you have signed-up for one you can automatically avail of the discount in numerous kinds of procedures. All you need to do is choose a dentist that belongs to the network. There are even some plans that offer higher discounts on certain treatments and some even offer discounts on cosmetic procedures, professional teeth whitening, orthodontics and many more.
These are some of the major differences in dental insurance and dental plans that could help you decide which one to get. Whether you get a dental insurance or a dental plan, always be sure to read the details of the plan you are signing up for so that everything will be clear to you before you agree to anything.