According to the National Association of Dental Plans, approximately half of the U.S. population does not have an affordable dental plan. The cost for affordable dental insurance can vary. Therefore, it is important to understand all your options in obtaining the most affordable dental plan coverage.
The company where you work may provide the most affordable dental insurance plan options. Dental insurance plans for individual and families are usually an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or a PPO (Preferred Provided Organization) and operate much like traditional health insurance organizations.
Affordable Dental Plans – HMO
Affordable dental insurance plans from an HMO have a limited pool of dentist to select, but it is a more affordable insurance plan. If you are self employed and looking for a more affordable dental plan, a discount dental plan may be an alternative.
Discount dental plans are not dental insurance plans. A discount plan partners with dentists to provide customers with a savings on visits to the dentist office. The downside to discount dental plans is that they are not regulated and you have limited recourse if you experience dental plan problems.
Affordable Dental Plans – Where to Buy
You can obtain quotes for more affordable dental insurance plans from companies online and through your local insurance agent or broker. Please keep in mind that there are many web sites who give the appearance of selling dental insurance but instead only offer a dental discount plan which is not insurance.
Your dentist may also have affordable dental plan options available to patients. Ask the receptionist if they partner with a dental plan company and see if one might be right for you.
Affordable Dental Plans – Other Alternatives
If you belong to a professional association, you might be eligible for a dental insurance or discount dental plan. Many associations partner with a PPO to provide their members with dental plans that offer very comprehensive insurance coverage at more affordable prices.
Finally, dental schools may offer affordable dental services. Dental schools seem to be safe, but can be inconvenient and treatment for one problem may have to be addressed in multiple office visits.