By now, you already know Medicare and Medicare Supplements don’t cover any dental expenses. Advantage plans have a very limited dental benefit as well. So, for my clients who need dental care, I usually recommend a dental savings plan over dental insurance and here’s why.
Traditional Dental Insurance
- To me, dental insurance is expensive for the coverage you get. An average plan for a retiree in this area costs about $45 per month, or $540 per year, per person. You get 2 routine cleanings per year at no cost but for all of the other services, there is a co-insurance amount due.
- Typically, there are waiting periods in which insurance companies will not pay for any services like fillings, crowns, etc. They can last between 6 and 12 months.
- Often, a deductible needs to be met before the plan starts paying.
- Most plans will only pay up to a set amount each year. These are called calendar year maximums. After that, you are responsible for any additional dental costs you incur. The maximums are usually less than $1,500 each year.
Dental Savings Plans
- The average cost of a dental savings plan is about $100 per year, only $8 per month. You’ll pay about $15 for a routine check-up and most other services are discounted between 10% and 60%.
- There are no waiting periods.
- There are no deductibles to meet.
- There are no yearly maximums to worry about.
- Some dental discount plans also offer discounts on other health services like vision, chiropractic, hearing services and sometimes telemedicine options.
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- Make sure your dentist accepts the plan you choose.
Some of my clients still like traditional dental insurance, but the majority like their discount plans.