Dental coverage is very important today, especially for those with families. When the cost of a crown for a child with baby teeth is around $900, dental coverage is quite helpful, especially in families with several children. Many employer-provided health insurance or HMO plans cover dental or have dental plans available as an option. If not, there are many dental coverage providers on the internet.
There are two forms of dental coverage: dental insurance plans and dental discount plans. They differ in their setup and payment structure. They also differ in terms of their in-network and out-of-network coverage. There is some variety in the design of the various dental coverage programs which allows the consumer more choice in his selection of type and level of coverage.
Dental insurance plans are like health insurance plans and indeed may be a part of an employer provided health insurance plan. The variation is coverage causes a variation in premiums but most dental insurance plans cover the routine office visit, cleaning, root canals, orthodontics, etc. for $15 to $35 dollars per month. The insured usually pays about from 20% to 50% of the cost for the various procedures, with the insurance paying the remainder. Benefits coverage and co-pays differ from policy to policy so the consumer should shop around to obtain the level of coverage he desires.
Dental HMOs are another form of dental insurance coverage. These function in the same way that heath care HMOs function. The member pays a flat monthly fee of $5 to $15 for membership and coverage. The dental provider receives a monthly fee for each patient assigned to his office, regardless of what procedure is performed. The individual must select a dentist from the approved list to receive coverage. Some plans may have a yearly limit on the dollar amount of work. The specifics may vary from plan to plan.
Dental discount plans are not insurance plans. This is like a Sam’s Club sort of situation. A managing organization makes arrangements for all or certain procedures to be performed at a pre-negotiated discount price for its members, sometimes as high as 70% off. Plan members pay the negotiated price and can only go to the dentists included in the plan. The individual may have to pay a membership fee to join the club or plan.
Since individual and non-employer provided dental coverage plans have been around for quite a few years, the market is well developed and an individual should be able to find a plan that he desires in his state. The individual desiring dental coverage should look in the phonebook or on the internet. There is a large selection of providers to choose from. As with anything else, the individual should shop around and find the best deal for the level of coverage and type of plan that he desires.
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