If laughter is the best medicine, it seems insurance would only cover a giggle. Insurance appears to have shifted from its original purpose of helping with unexpected events to only covering preventative care and denying larger treatment cases. For dental insurance, many have witnessed an increase in premiums and copays but no change in coverage. In reality, most dental insurance plans are nothing more than a discount plan with a maximum amount and varying coverage. The bottom line is insurance has become an obstacle to how patients choose their providers and determine their treatment.
As dentists continue to find ways to improve patient care and affordability, many offices offer in-house plans that help to combat dental insurance. These plans typically provide the same, if not better, services than insurance and are often paid every month – similar to insurance plans. Here are some advantages to these in-office plans:
- Though dental offices can file insurance regardless of network status, in-office plans do not vary in benefits as many insurances do — even within the same company.
- For self-employed patients, in-office plans offer benefits at a lower cost than self-coverage.
- There is typically no maximum amount of coverage since most office plans simply discount their standard fees.
- Benefits are never denied because your dentist determines the treatment you need.
- Unlike varied fees and costs under insurance plans, in-office benefits allow for a true fair market value.
- Restrictions on treatment types and fees required of insurance contracts are no longer a factor.
It is no wonder that in-office discount plans are becoming popular alternatives to obsolete insurance protocols. Until real insurance reform occurs, dental care offices will continue to make care more accessible and affordable through office plans.
Call your dental office today to inquire about their discount plans. Happy smiling!
Dr. Matt is the dentist and owner of Country Lakes Family Dental in Bartonville, TX, and a nine-time winner of Best of Denton County www.countrylakesdental.com.