Getting the Lowdown on a Discount Dental Plan

If you’re shopping for insurance for dental services, you might be amazed at some of the price tags out there. Sure, there are plenty of policies out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg — but they still might be beyond your budget.

If that’s your problem, a discount dental plan can be the perfect solution. Here’s why:

1. It doesn’t come with premiums

Unlike traditional insurance for dental treatment, you don’t pay a monthly premium with a discount dental plan. Instead, you pay an annual fee for the rights to a discount card (and that fee is significantly lower than what you’d wind up paying in premiums over the course of a year). Just like its name implies, your discount card will give you certain discounts on dental services and treatments — like 30% off on your x-rays or 25% off on your root canal. After that, you’re responsible to pay for everything by yourself.

How does that save you any money?

Think about it — under traditional insurance for dental services, you wind up paying premiums whether you use the coverage or not. In the course of a year, you might spend a chunk of money for emergency coverage and never suffer a dental emergency. Under a discount dental plan, you only pay for the things you need — meaning you’ll never waste money on stuff you don’t need.

2. It can’t be “bundled”

If you opt for traditional insurance, you can “bundle” it — meaning you buy two policies from the same company and, in return, get to save money on both. For example, you might get dental and vision insurance from the same company and pay lower premiums.

However, when you’ve got a discount dental plan, you’re not buying it from a traditional insurance company. The people who offer these discount cards don’t offer traditional dental and vision insurance, so there’s nothing to bundle. If you want vision coverage, you’re going to have to find a separate way to get it.

3. It doesn’t come with restrictions

A dental PPO plan might be one of the most popular types of insurance for dental treatment, but it also comes with a catch. With it, you have to visit certain dentists and specialists — that is, if you want to take full advantage of your benefits. Under a dental PPO plan, you’re not free to visit any dentist you want.

But under a discount dental plan, you can see any dentist you want, anywhere. Since you don’t have an insurance company to help you foot the bills, you don’t have to abide by an insurance company’s rules.

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