Thursday, February 09, 2012

Discount Dental Plan - an Alternative to Dental Insurance

If you've ever had to go to the dentist and not had dental insurance, you know it can be expensive.  Beth had about a year when she didn't have insurance - because she was over 19 or whatever the age was, and she wasn't in school, so she couldn't be covered under our family policy anymore, and she didn't have a plan of her own.  Thankfully now she's back on the insurance, but she did make at least one visit to the dentist when she didn't have the insurance.  Our dentist was willing to work with her and help her out a bit, because he understood she didn't have the insurance, but there's no guarantee all dentists will be that nice.

I didn't realize this, but there are options for people without dental insurance - discount plans that can save families up to 70% on most dental procedures.  There are several discount dental plans to choose from on the site. Preferred Network Access by Cigna is one of the better ones.  Individual membership is $134.95/year, and a family membership which includes the member plus a spouse and dependent children up to the age of 18 or full-time students up to the age of 25, is $189.95/year.  They're even offering 3 months free when you join now. Membership gives access to discounts on dental care at over 93,000 participating providers nationwide, and members receive immediate savings on dental procedures.

If you don't have dental insurance for yourself and/or your family, be sure to check out Cigna dental plans to see how much you could save.  Just put in your zip code, and they give you a list of usual fees and discount fees for plan members.  Judging by these sample fees, it looks like one of these plans would pay for itself after one or maybe two dental visits.  And the plan includes vision and prescription discounts - so there are even more savings there.

Even if you don't think you need this, remember it's available.  It looks like you can join anytime, and your plan will activate the very next day.  That means, if you or someone in your family gets a toothache and really needs to go to the dentist (this can be used for routine visits, but let's just say you're only going to visit the dentist if you really have to), you can join today and use your benefits tomorrow.  Just print your membership card, make an appointment with a participating dentist and enjoy on-the-spot discounts.  Payment for services performed is due at the time of service, and there are no paperwork hassles to worry about.