With the holidays approaching, families across the US recognize that one of the most expensive times of the year is upon us once again. The budgets will likely get tighter, while thoughts and resolutions turn to the new year, often with commitments to live healthier lives.
One important but often neglected method of living healthily is in regards to dental care. Many families struggle to afford the cost of routine dental work, which is all the more expensive without a comprehensive dental plan.
While dental work is technically a part of healthcare, standard health insurance plans omit coverage for oral care. However, dental work is provided as part of oral health insurance, or through an annual dental plan.
Believe it or not, there are notable differences between dental insurance and dental plans. There are typically more restrictions for you as a patient when you acquire dental insurance, along with high annual rates, and potentially long waiting periods to see a competent dentist.
On the other hand, a dental plan is more affordable and frankly, a much simpler option to maintain quality oral care. Most dental plans are independent from an insurer, which eliminates the administrative headaches of filing insurance claim forms, and paying for high clerical fees.
There are also discounts for most dental plan members, though you should verify that your dentist is part of the discount dental plan network. For families on a tight budget, particularly after the holiday season, this can be very important for the oral health of the children.
Of course, dental plans and dental insurance are not mutually exclusive. A patient with dental insurance can still purchase a dental plan, which is very important if a member of your family requires very expensive dental work.
These options should all be weighed and considered by families to determine which plan is in their overall best interests. Employers may offer dental insurance as part of an annual salary, but a dental plan is a more affordable option in the event that dental work is not included as part of employer-funded benefits.
After you and the family finish with the holiday treats, a trip to the dentist may be exactly what is necessary.