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Group dental insurance 101

Even if you get insurance as part of a group you essentially enjoy the same benefits that an individual dental insurance plan provides with an added advantage. Because you are part of a group, you pay lower premiums.

Dental insurance carriers prefer to insure groups because the risk is spread around and more members in the group guarantee them additional business.
Many companies and unions offer this benefit to attract and keep good employees. The effect is very positive effect. This is to lighten the financial load of the employee by paying for a portion of their dental plan.

As a member of a group, your dental insurance plan is a result of a contract between your employer (or union), or plan sponsor, and a third party (insurance company). Any your concerns you have regarding your plan coverage should be directed to the plan sponsor or your employer.

To maximize the benefits found in your dental plan you should take time to know how it is designed and what its limitations are. A good group dental plan is one which covers around 60 to 80 percent of each dental treatment you undergo.

Some Features Common To Group Dental Insurance Plans

Direct Reimbursement program
Under this plan, the patient can go to their preferred dentist. After treatment patient is reimbursed a portion of the amount spent on dental care, regardless of whether the treatment is a minor or major procedure.

UCR or “Usual, Customary, and Reasonable” program
This design plan offers flexibility because the patient can go to their preferred dentist. The “reasonable” or “customary” fee limit is jointly determined by the plan purchaser and the third party payer.

Table or Schedule of Allowance programs
Each covered service is tabled and assigned a specific fee. The amount represents how much the plan pays for the services. Most times, plan does not pay for the entire treatment, and the patient has to pay for the difference.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) program
Contracting dentists give a discount on their service fees to attract patients. However, patients cannot avail of these discounts if they choose a dentist who is not part of this network.

Capitation program
The dentist signs a contract with the sponsor of the plan, and provides all or a specific number of treatments covered under the dental insurance program. In return, the dentist is paid a set fee for each patient or subscriber.

Family Dental Insurance 101

Purchasing a family dental insurance plan provides you and your family two important benefits:

• Better oral health for the entire family as most plans pay 100% of the preventive service fees such as cleaning every six months. This encourages the family to visit the dentist for regular check ups and cleaning treatments. Prevention is half the battle!

• Generate more savings because the dental insurance company pays a certain percentage of dental services for minor and major procedures.

Here are six questions to guide you in the selection of the right dental insurance plan for you and your family.

1. Does the plan allow you to pick your own dentist?
Some dental insurance carriers give you bigger discounted rates provided you use their network of dentists. If your favorite dentist is not part of the network, the dental insurance plan may not cover the treatment. You should consider paying extra for a plan, which allows you and your family to go to your preferred dentist.

2. Are there restrictions when it comes to choosing the best treatment options? Some insurance plans put a cap on the number of treatments or limit the amount paid for a condition. If you or your family has a history of poor dental health care, then you should choose a plan that has few restrictions on this aspect.

3. What is does the plan cover? An ideal dental insurance plan allows for one cleaning treatment every six months, with X-ray and fluoride treatments that come at little or no cost for each member. For the major procedures, some dental plans require you to pay 50 percent of the entire bill. If your family has a history of good dental health care, then you may want to negotiate for lesser coverage when it comes to the major procedures.

4. Which family members are covered by the family insurance plan? Most dental insurance carriers cover the spouse and dependent children, from birth through 18. Some exceptions are given for children up to the ages of 22 if the child is a full time student, and dependent on the principal for support.

5. Is there built in flexibility in scheduling dental appointments? Some inexpensive dental insurance plans limit when you can come in for dental treatment. Check to ensure that these scheduled appointments do not inconvenience you or your family.

6. How much savings does this plan generate? Whether you and your spouse decide to purchase a family dental insurance plan, or avail of your employers’ sponsored plan – you will still be able to generate savings, for you are not paying for the entire procedure.

Discount Dental Plans

In general Dental plans are a low cost alternative to dental insurance. Dental care services become more affordable with discount dental plans for families in the lower income bracket. A dental plan is a kind of a club you join where we have a section of providers and consumers. In a discounted dental plan, the providers have agreed to provide the services at a discounted rate. As a consumer, one just has to display his or her membership card while visiting the provider. These discounted dental plans do not purport to insurance in any way, they are just discount programs.

Choosing a Dental Plan

While taking a decision on a discounted dental plan, it is important to be fully informed so that one can make a confident decision. The internet would be great tool to search for various plans in your area and compare them. Keeping the cost and benefits offered in mind, an informed decision can be made against the backdrop of your needs. Joining or enrolling in any of these plans is easy and quick; you just have to pay the fee using your credit card or electronic check and get the package online, in a matter of minutes. Many of these packages come with a 30 day money back guarantee, which means if you are not satisfied with the package or services, you can get your money back within 30 days without any questions being asked.

Many discounted dental plans offer ways to save on more than dental care, offering discounts on pharmacy prescriptions, vision etc. Keep these in mind while comparing the plans.

Using your discounted Dental plan

After you join a discounted dental plan you can start using the plan immediately without any waiting period. Benefits for most discounted dental plans are activated within 48 hours from enrolling.

When you use the discounted dental plan, make sure you call the empanelled provider dentist for an appointment. When you reach the dentist to keep your appointment, make sure you show the discount dental plan card to the receptionist to avoid confusion, it will ensure that you are charged the discounted rate in the first place.

The payment at the discounted rate is to be made at the time of taking the service. There are no hassles of paperwork and claims as in insurance plans.

Dental Treatment

There are not many people who would admit to enjoying a visit to the dentist. The trip often leads to considerable pain or at least discomfort. You are never really sure what is going to be involved and how much treatment you will need. You don’t know how much it is going to cost, unless you have dental insurance, in which case you don’t need to worry about this. But generally speaking, most people do not enjoy visiting their dentist.

In many ways we’re much like children. While people tend to get over most of their childhood fears as they get older, dental treatment is one that seems to persist into adulthood. Partly we have our selves to blame. Many people put off visiting the dentist for years and only go once they are in considerable pain. They skip check ups if they have no complaints and postpone the inevitable visit for as long as is humanly possible.

This means that by the time we do visit the dentist, which is a visit that is long overdue, we need so much work done and it costs so much money that it just serves to put us off going back again for as long as is possible. This is what causes the entire problem.

Many of the worst aspects about visiting the dentist could be avoided by going back for regular checkups and keeping on top of problems. Dentists advise that they can prevent many common problems from ever occurring if they catch them quickly enough and what could become costly and painful surgery can be dealt with simply and all the hassle avoided. But this requires that they see your teeth fairly regularly so that they can avoid problems before they occur.

Most dentists offer you the chance to book your next check up months in advance. This means that when you show up for one, you book your next check up while you are at the dentist’s surgery. This means that you will never forget to make an appointment. Then the dentist will also send you a reminder when the appointment approaches so that you will not forget to attend. What could be simpler?

Regular check ups can help you to avoid expensive and painful surgery and many dental insurance plans will cover check ups as st andard in the policy. Therefore, get insurance and start seeing your dentist frequently. Don’t put off the visit until its too late or you really will have something to fear from your dentist.

Dental Insurance

Dental costs are becoming an increasingly significant health care expense and more and more people are making sure they are protected against these costs with a dental insurance policy. Dental insurance policies typically work in the same way as any other medical insurance policy. You will pay your monthly premium and this will entitle you to specific dental care procedures such as checkups, cleaning and x-rays. You will also be covered for other procedures that are deemed necessary to keep your teeth and gums in good health.

Comprehensive

As with all insurance policies, they will vary in what treatments they cover and how much they cost. While more expensive policies will give you greater benefits and allow you access to a greater range of services, cheaper ones will be restricted in what they cover and you will be required to contribute to the cost of procedures you require. If you think you will need dental surgery, oral implants, the services of an orthodontist and other more expensive forms of treatment, you will probably want to go for a more comprehensive policy.

One of the main differences between medical and dental health care is that children generally require far more treatment and expense than adults do. This is true right up through your child’s teen years when orthodontists’ bills can often be extremely expensive. You may therefore wish to cover only your children with dental insurance and you should check with your insurer to see if this is possible. While some insurance companies will allow children to have their own dental insurance policies, others will only insure them as part of an adult or family plan and if this is the case you will require to insure them with your own dental insurance provider and this may mean taking out dental insurance for yourself if you do not already have it.

Discounts

Another option offered by some insurance companies is to take a form of dental discount card. This is not dental insurance in the strict sense of the meaning but does provide you with discounts on dental treatment when you require using them. They can be a cheaper way of obtaining limited protection against dental costs and for this reason are growing in popularity. Not all insurers will provide them so shop around and see what’s on offer. As with all insurance, there can be great differences is what you will be offered for your money and considering that dental insurance can be a significant expense, it is wise to make sure you know what is available before you decide to opt for any policy.

Delta Dental Insurance 101

Delta Dental Plans Association, more commonly known as Delta Dental, is one of the best known dental insurers in the United States. Delta is a not-for-profit association that offers dental plans of all types for companies across the U.S. Their 39 member companies administer dental benefit plans whose main focus is providing and improving access to dental care for all. Today, Delta Dental associates provide dental coverage to over 46 million people through over 80,000 employers and agencies.

Delta Dental insurance offers three major plan types to suit a wide range of needs. The benefits vary by plan, and costs vary by region and employer.

Delta Dental Premier (formerly DeltaPremierUSA)
Delta Dental Premier is a traditional fee-for-service insurance plan. If you have Delta Dental Premier, you can visit the dentist of your choice within or outside their provider network. The dentist bills Delta Dental directly, and Delta Dental pays their portion of the bill (most often a set dollar amount), then sends you an explanation of your portion of the bill, which you pay to the dentist.

Ex. Delta Dental pays $45 for a filling. Your dentist charges $60 for a filling. You pay the dentist $15.

Delta Dental PPO (Preferred Provider Option)
Like the Premier plan, Delta Dental PPO pays a fee for each service. You may also visit any dentist that you choose, but will pay lower fees to dentists who are part of Delta’s Preferred Provider network. The dentist h andles all the paperwork and claim forms. Delta generally pays a percentage of the procedure rather than a set dollar amount.

Ex. Delta Dental pays 70% of the fee for an extraction. Your dentist charges $210 for an extraction. You pay the dentist $63.

DeltaCare HMO
DeltaCare focuses on prevention and maintenance of your dental health. When you enroll in DeltaCare, you choose a primary care dentist who will be responsible for your dental care. If you require specialty services – orthodontics or oral surgery, for example – your primary care dentist must refer you for services. You pay a low or no co-payment for any dental services provided.

Ex. Depending on the plan, you may pay a $10 co-payment for office visits, no matter what the procedure.

The cost and availability of each option is dependent on the company through which you enroll. As the nation’s largest provider of dental insurance, the costs are significantly lower than most other plans.

Affordable Dental Insurance

Medical treatment – both health and dental – is extremely expensive and the best possible option in the given scenario is to buy both health and dental insurance. Compare the two and you will find that dental insurance is more affordable and cheaper than health insurance.

This is because dental insurance is designed to provide preventive care and this, by and large, eliminates chances of major problems. Unlike health insurance, whereby plans need to cover expensive tests, multiple treatments, and dangerous diseases, dental insurance covers diseases that are preventive by nature and even if treatment becomes essential, the diagnostic tests require little more than x-rays, and a thorough examination by the dentist.

Family dental insurance also makes economic sense. People will find that in any family, there will be members who have required dental treatment at some time or the other. It can be children who require their cavities to be filled or the older generation requiring root canal treatment. If nothing else, regular visits to the dentist are an answer to keeping teeth in good condition, be it cases of bleeding gums or teeth requiring topical fluoride treatment. Routine check-ups can prove to be affordable, if covered by dental plans. Otherwise, a visit to a dentist, apart from being a painful experience, can also end up digging a deep hole in the pocket.

People can afford dental insurance at reduced rates if they choose to buy PPO plans, or preferred provider organization plans. The only thing they have to sacrifice here is the freedom of choice. This means that as for as the freedom of choosing a dentist is concerned, they will have to choose a dentist who is listed in the plan’s network. People should weigh the benefits offered carefully and, given the affordable nature of the plan, they may consider this price too little a sacrifice as compared to the advantages.

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