Is there really such a thing is dental insurance? Maybe that’s just an illusion of some kind. With regular health insurance, each party – the insurer and you – hopes that they will win out. The insurance company hopes that you won’t have a terribly expensive disease, and you hope that, well, that in the end, you won’t have bought more insurance than you need. That’s not how it works with caring for your teeth. Affordable dental care is a kind of illusion.
To begin with, with dental insurance, you can’t very well expect them to pay for whatever you need – expensive procedures like root canals are usually out-of-pocket. For the most part, dental insurance only pays about $1000 or so a year – a figure that hasn’t changed in 30 or 40 years. Since the premiums you pay are only for regular things like twice-yearly checkups, you don’t really end up getting much for your money. In this way, affordable dental care is a distant dream. Dental insurance is nothing like health insurance. You stand practically no chance of making your premiums back.
To many people then, dental insurance isn’t the way to go at all. To many, a dental club is the way to go – which is something like a price club. You pay a $100-a-year fee, and in return, you get to pay discounted rates on a network of dentists.
Typically, you end up saving about 80% on what you would pay if you walked into a dental clinic just like that. For instance, if you go to a dentist for a dental crown, you’ll end up paying about $15. If you go through one of these dental clubs of the other hand, you may pay $500.
If you got the same kind of work done with dental insurance, you would, of course, only pay about $350 a crown; but you do have to factor in how you pay $750 a year just for the premium. And if it’s just a couple of crowns, you’ll find that the regular dental insurance is not much more expensive than a dental club. However, if you need any more work done, you’ll quickly come up against your $1000-a-year limit. And you’ll have to wait for next year to get anything done. You don’t have these kind of problems with dental clubs.
Without a doubt, the new dental clubs – companies like Brighter – do make a lot of sense. Only about 60% of Americans actually have dental insurance. For the rest of us, the price clubs are good news.