By Don Robertson
Low cost dental today, for many, has become a misnomer. Many people find that the luxury benefits, low cost dental, vision, prescription and chiropractic, are disappearing from their group policies.
The average business today is finding it increasingly difficult to provide low cost dental benefits. When costs begin to cut into business profits the benefit disappears. It is becoming more the responsibility of the individual to provide dental and other luxury benefits for the family.
One of the disappointing limits of dental insurance is the yearly spending cap (some group plans even have a lifetime cap). An average dental insurance policy will run anywhere from $30 per month to as much as $60 per month. Here is where the magic begins for the insurance company. First, they are betting that you won’t use your benefits. In that case they have a resulting profit of $360 ($30 x 12 mo) up to $720 ($60 x 12 mo) for the year. But then there is a cap or spending limit placed on your policy for the calendar year. The cap is usually around $1000.
Now here is a little calculating. If your cap is $1000 and you are paying $30 per month or $360 per year then you are subsidizing your dental plan to the amount of your premium–$360. Subtract the $360 from the $1000 and you actually have a $640 amount available to you for the calendar year. Now what if your premium is $720 per year? That would mean that you had subsidized all but $280 of your dental work for the year.
What if you need several crowns or root canals? Sorry, you have that cap to think about. You can certainly exceed the limit, but then you are on your own. Now you are paying the full price–that can be very scary. Your reserve cash, if you have any, can be siphoned off very quickly.
So how much do dental procedures cost today? They vary with the area of the United States that you live in. According to the National Dental Advisory Service you can expect to pay $1192 for a crown in the Dallas area. For a root canal the investment, depending on the type of tooth, anterior or bicuspid, is between $788 and $901. Of course if you have children or you need Orthodontic treatment yourself you can expect to pay between $4,500 and $5,000. Now those are some hefty investments that reduce your spendable income at a dizzying rate.
Are options available to save you money on your dental needs? Yes there are. One of the options that some people take advantage of, if they have major work being done, is to go out of the country. Mexico is certainly an option. India is another option. That may sound ridiculous, but consider that major dental work may be needed. The can easily exceed $10,000. If your vacation was $2000 and your dental work another $3000, then you have gone on a vacation and saved money. Although I must admit that going to the dentist while I’m on vacation is certainly not my idea of having fun. But it is an option.
Another option is sitting down with your dentist and explaining that you don’t have insurance or your insurance will not cover all of the work that is needed. It is always a good plan to discuss large outlays with your dentist. You will then know exactly what the charges will be for each procedure. During this discussion, get the plan written down and insure that it includes your dental codes. It will make it easier to track later and should the need arise you will be able to compare apples to apples. Quite often, your dentist will be able to discount some of the procedure costs. But this won’t happen unless you ask.
Today, though dental costs have risen drastically for the consumer, there is some good news. As we all know, when there is a need a solution will come along. One of the shinning solutions of dental care today is the low cost dental discount plan.
The dental discount plan provides individuals or complete households with dental saving membership plans. These membership plan monthly fees are low enough to allow any level income to take part. These plans are much like having a Sam’s or Costco card. When you use your card at Sam’s or Costco, you save money. Because you save money you use your card and keep it. That is what is happening in the dental industry today.
With your dental discount card you have pre-established discounts when you go to the dentist. These discounts can range from twenty percent all the way up to eighty percent. I’ll give you a couple of examples of savings from one of the discount plan providers. In the Dallas area, a periodic oral exam is normally $60. With the low cost dental discount plan it would be only $12 which would provide you with a savings of 80%. If you had to have a porcelain crown which is normally $1192 retail, with the discount plan it would be only $525. That would be a savings of $667 or 56%.
Dental discount plans are definitely here to stay. You can realize major savings using them. The better ones also provide additional benefits for free–such as vision, prescription and chiropractic. With just a little research, you can find a plan that is right for you, save money and insure that you and your family’s dental health are secure.
So let’s recap the three methods discussed for saving you money.
1) Go out of the country. This is certainly feasible if you have the time and inclination to do so.
2) Sit down with your dentist and work out a discount plan with him personally.
3) Enroll in a low cost dental discount plan.
Which one of these three is right for you? That is your decision. I personally am on a dental discount plan that has save me a lot of money. But the decision is ultimately yours. Just understand that low cost dental is available for you and your family if you are willing to take responsibility, research your options and exercise due diligence.
My hope for you is that you will find the plan that is right for you. So that instead of having more month at the end of the money you will now have more money at the end of the month and you will be able to enjoy your family’s health and confidence.
About the Author: Don Robertson is co-founder of Benefit Discount Services. Through his company he provides significant aa target=”_new” HREF=”http://www.webenefityou.com” rel=’nofollow’>Ameriplan Dental discounts to his customers. You can learn more by going to aa target=”_new” HREF=”http://www.webenefityou.com” rel=’nofollow’>http://www.webenefityou.com.
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