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From the Editor: This guest post contributed by Hannah Daniel
Indemnity (traditional) insurance can be expensive and difficult to procure if not offered by your employer at a subsidized rate. Here are several alternate methods to make the most of your money while still receiving quality service.
Discount Dental Plan
Dental discount plans have been around since 1979 starting with the Careington dental plan, and Good Morning America recently endorsed discount clubs as a great way to save money. These plans typically have low monthly or annual rates that give members access to extensive discounts within a large network of dentists and specialists. These discounts are applied while in office, so members simply pay the discounted rate. Plans often use a predetermined fee schedule contracted with the dentists for many common procedures and provide substantial discounts on a wide variety of dental procedures.
Health Maintenance Organization
A health maintenance organization (HMO) assigns members to a specific dentist for treatment. These dentists are ensured by contract to receive a certain amount of money for each dental visit even if the patient required no treatment. These plans typically charge a set monthly rate with no deductible, but since dentists are guaranteed payment regardless of the quality of their work, members may not be assigned to a dentist of their preferred quality.
Preferred Provider Organization
A preferred provider organization (PPO) gives members access to a specific network of dentists where they can receive oral care at lower prices. It bears some resemblance to an HMO plan, except care is paid for when it is received rather than in advance. Members can usually see dentists out-of-network for a higher cost out of pocket.
Secondary Dental Insurance
Sometimes, you can even use two plans together for optimum savings, especially if you already hold a traditional indemnity plan. Here’s the trick: While at the dental office, pay the discounted price available through your dental discount plan. Then you can go home and file a claim with your other insurance company for the amount that you paid for your dental work. If it clears with the insurance company, you may receive an additional reimbursement check, leaving a very small amount paid out of pocket.
With these alternate options, you can determine the best plan for you and your family to save you the most money and help you plan for future dental needs.
About Author: Hannah Daniel writes for a dental care blog backed by 1Dental.com, which offers discount dental plans nationwide. She enjoys keeping people up to date on dental news and helping them save money on dental care.