Discount dental plans, although not a dental insurance product, provide individuals, families, businesses, and other groups with an invaluable dental advantage. Discount dental plans are an alternative to dental insurance that provide plan members with discounts on most dental services with a strong emphasis on preventive procedures. Discount dental plan members pay a low membership fee for the year for access to an extensive network of participating dentists and dental specialists that provide deep discounts on dental care at the time of service.
Many individuals and families that do not receive dental insurance from their employers turn to discount dental plans to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses on dental care. Additionally, more businesses are looking toward discount dental plans as an affordable and easy way to provide their employees with a much needed dental advantage.
Since they are not dental insurance plans but discount programs instead, discount dental plans do not have co-payments, deductibles, paperwork hassles, or annual limits. Fortunately, many discount dental plans can be coordinated with existing dental insurance plans. This can prove to be very beneficial for someone who has long waiting periods for pre-existing conditions or has already reached their annual maximum on their dental insurance plan.
In addition, select discount dental plans offer discounts on some dental specialties that are rarely covered by dental insurance, including cosmetic dentistry services like veneers, teeth whitening, and more. The low annual membership price and the convenience provided by discount dental plans have made them an affordable and easy-to-use option for people looking to save money on their dental care needs.
Dental Insurance and Discount Dental Plans: A Valued Advantage for Students, Businesses, and More
Recent research highlights the importance of dental health and its link to overall health. Studies have shown that affordable dental care options are highly coveted by students, employees, and more. Despite being a highly desired option, an alarming 56% of the U.S. population does not have dental insurance.
The lack of affordable dental care has a significant impact at schools and especially in the workplace. About 164 million hours of work and 51 million hours of school are lost each year due to dental visits, dental related illnesses and other oral health problems, according to Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Both students and employees consider dental insurance to be an important advantage. For example, a 2006 Graduating Student & Alumni Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that graduating students entering the workforce rated dental insurance as a highly valued option, behind medical insurance and yearly salary increases. In addition, employees rank dental plans as the third most important care option behind health and retirement care option, according to several recent studies.
Discount Dental Plans: An Alternative to Dental Insurance for Businesses and Groups
According to a report by the US Census Bureau, 90% of privately insured individuals receive coverage from their own or family member's employer. Yet 11% of small businesses that offer their employees healthcare options right now might not do so next year (Employee Benefit News, August 2006). A spokesman with the Society for Human Resource Management says that dental insurance is at the top of the list of options employers are looking to scale back (SmartMoney.com, November 2006).
Many small businesses refrain from offering dental insurance to their employees due to the costs involved. In an attempt to conserve some of the money spent on healthcare options, many businesses are moving toward “consumerism” and voluntary dental care options. Businesses following this trend are shifting the costs of dental insurance plans and discount dental plans from the employer to the employee.
It seems as if traditional dental insurance is losing ground to discount dental plans in some sectors due to this trend toward voluntary dental plan care. Discount dental plans fit the voluntary dental plan care model very well. The discount dental plans offered by TopDentalPlans.net can be customized to fit the unique needs of a business and its employees.
Employers enjoy the ease offered by money-saving discount dental plans, and employees enjoy choosing the plan that is best for their individual needs. Plus, unlike dental insurance plans, the discount dental plans offered by TopDentalPlans.net do not have minimum participation policies and they can be used by the employees' dependents, part-time workers, and retirees. More and more businesses are turning to discount dental plans because they save on their bottom line while employees save on their dental care.