You need affordable dental care, and you’re wondering what will help you save the most money on your dental bills: dental insurance or a dental savings plan? Here’s what you need to know to choose the best plan for your oral health needs and your budget:
The discounts you get vary according to the plan you choose and the particular treatments you need.
Dental insurance might be the best choice if your employer provides it for free or at a very reduced rate, or if your dental needs are basic – checkups, cleanings and the very occasional cavity that needs filling.
If you buy dental insurance yourself, you’ll pay about $25 per month, per person covered. That works out to $300 a year for a single person. For a family of four the cost would be $1,200. You’ll also have to pay a $50 deductible out of pocket ($100-$150 deductible for a family plan) before your coverage begins. And your dental insurance coverage will have an annual spending maximum of between $1,000-$1,500.
Assuming you typically need two checkups and cleanings and a set of X-rays – at an average cost of $300-$350 for those procedures - you’ll just about break even with dental insurance. And you’ll have the assurance of knowing that many other dental issues you have are covered, up to your plan’s annual spending limit. After you reach that limit you’ll need to pay for your dental care out of your own pocket.
Dental insurance imposes waiting periods of 6-12 months before you are covered for expensive dental treatments such as crowns, dentures and bridges. And many plans do not ever cover treatment for dental care issues that you had prior to purchasing insurance. If you need more than basic dental care, or you already have problems with your teeth and gums, dental insurance may not be your best choice.
Dental savings plans range from $79.95-$150 a year, on average, for a single person. Family plans are about $125-$200. There is no deductible, no annual limit on how much you can save, and no long waiting periods before you can get discounts on your dental bills. The majority of plans activate within 72-hours of purchase.
Since dental savings plans are less expensive than dental insurance, you’ll easily break even or save on dental even if you just need basic care. And if you need restorative treatments for damaged or missing teeth, a dental savings plan is a smarter choice than insurance because there is no annual spending limit. You can use your plan as often as needed to save on your dental care.
Dental savings plans are also a great choice to help make treatments that dental insurance often doesn’t cover - like braces, dental implants, veneers, and cosmetic care such as tooth whitening - affordable. Just choose the dental savings plan that offers the best savings on your dental health needs.