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Ah, adulting. Don’t get us wrong – it comes with some truly great perks like bedtime flexibility, permission to ride all the rides at amusement parks, etc. But part of the bargain is getting hip to true cosmic riddles like dental coverage – a topic that can make even the most adult-y of adults weak in the knees. So whether you’ve recently lost dental coverage on your parent’s insurance plan or you’re just finally taking the step of ensuring a better future for your teeth, let’s dive into dental insurance, dental savings plans and which one might be the best move for you.
What is Dental Insurance?
Dental insurance is similar to traditional health insurance – and if you work for a larger company, it may be included by default (lucky you) or offered as an add-on to your current health insurance plan. Every dental insurance offering is a little bit different. But the general situation is you sign up for an annual dental insurance plan and pay a monthly fee or “premium” to keep that plan active. In exchange, your insurance provider pitches in and pays for a portion of the cost of eligible dental procedures like teeth cleanings, root canals and crowns. This takes place after each dental visit – the dentist and insurance provider negotiate the cost for the procedure, and then you receive a bill for the portion that you’re responsible for paying.
It’s important to keep in mind though that many dental insurance plans have a fairly low ceiling for the maximum amount they’ll pay towards your care. For instance, under some types of plans you might be responsible for the whole bill once your total expenses for the year hit $1,500. In addition, so-called “cosmetic” procedures like teeth whitening or braces may not be covered – and some stuff like dental x-rays may only be covered at certain time intervals like once every six months, once every year, or not until you’ve been enrolled in the insurance for at least a year.
What is A Dental Savings Plan?
While dental savings plans serve a similar purpose as dental insurance, they’re different in several critical ways. Essentially, a dental savings plan works like a discount card that can score you 20 to 50 percent lower prices on a range of services at participating dental offices. And you can use this discount as frequently as you’d like.
Dental savings plans generally have more flexible enrollment requirements, allowing you to buy a pass that’s good for anywhere from one month up to one year. The total cost of enrollment can be significantly less than dental insurance as well, coming in around 20 bucks on a monthly basis, or under 150 bucks per year. And unlike dental insurance, where you often find out what your total cost for a procedure is after the fact, a dental savings plan usually allows you to work out what it’s going to cost you ahead of time. Which is nice if you’re trying to also budget for, say, adult beverages with your adult friends, you beautiful adult.
Can You Have Dental Insurance AND a Dental Savings Plan?
Heck yes you can have both! Whether or not you should just sort of depends on your unique set of chompers. As we’ve gone over, dental insurance is a handy thing to have – but some insurance-covered procedures may cost less when using the price discount you receive with a dental savings program. And if you dig your dental insurance policy but it specifically doesn’t cover teeth whitening, braces, or another cosmetic procedure, a dental savings plan can be a great way to supplement your insurance coverage and keep your overall dental costs as low as possible.
So: no more gritting your teeth about dental coverage stuff, ok? And if you do have additional questions about the ins-and-outs of dental savings plans in particular, you’re already in the right place. You see, we’ve developed our VERY OWN dental savings plan – hello dental pass – for all ye who yearn for dental discounts. We know the dang thing front to back, and we’re happy to field any questions you may have about it. Give us a holler at 844-HELLOPASS to learn more!