Dental Benefit Providers

Written by Sarah Provost
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Are you among the many who have no dental health plan? As employers cut back on medical benefits, dental plans are often among the first to go. Self-paid dental insurance is difficult to get and prohibitively expensive, so many people are turning to cash-for-service or discount membership programs to ensure their oral health.

There are many such plans available, and choosing among them can be difficult. Fortunately, there are several sites that present a summary of available plans in your area. You just enter your zip code, and you'll get a chart that allows you to easily compare prices and benefits from many local providers.

How Discount Dental Plans Work

These plans are not the same as insurance. That is to say, the administrative company does not undertake to pay any of your expenses or assume any risk. What they offer is access to a discounted rate for dental procedures, which they have negotiated with providers in exchange for referrals.

The percentage of discount varies from plan to plan, as does the membership fee, which takes the place of an insurance premium. If you have infrequent need for dental services, the fee may be more than you'd save with the discounts. However, families with children or anyone who has frequent dental procedures would be able to save a significant amount by joining a discount plan. Services provided also vary by plan, so if, for instance, you have young children, you should be sure that orthodontia is covered by whatever plan you choose.

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