By Susan Braden
It is no secret that the cost of healthcare is rising. While the medical coverage that many Americans either purchase for themselves or obtain through an employer often does a decent job subsidizing the cost of doctor’s visits and procedures, the same cannot be said of dental coverage, which is frequently both expensive and limited in what it will cover. That begs the question: does full coverage dental insurance even exist?
In years past, when individuals obtained dental insurance, it was invariably through what is called an indemnity plan.
All in all, indemnity plans furnish the advantage of choice of dentist, but can often carry high deductibles, yearly maximums, and waiting periods that make them impractical for many patients. While they may be helpful to preventative care, contrary to popular belief, indenmity plans they should not be considered to be"full coverage."
What about government-sponsored insurance? Can these programs be considered as full coverage? In a word, no.
This program is designed to oversee the medical needs of low income Americans and some people with disabilities and is a partnership between state and federal government.
This is a federal insurance program available to senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Truly, neither Medicaid nor Medicare can be relied upon for full dental coverage.
If you are employed, you may be fortunate enough to get dental benefits of some kind from where you work. In most cases, your insurance will fall into one of two categories.
It may be a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in which you must provide a pre-payment. In exchange, you can receive a full range of dental services within a specific network of doctors.
In the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) model, you have a lot more leeway as to what dentist you see.
Still, neither HMO’s nor PPO’s offer the Holy Grail of insurance; finding full dental insurance coverage is virtually impossible in this day and age.
If you’re looking for comprehensive dental coverage at an affordable price, you might think there are no additional options. Without a doubt, everything from traditional plans to government-sponsored ones, from HMO’s to PPO’s, have fallen far short of the mark.
Discount dental plans, however, are an alternative that may help patients most. In these models, a patient base, often millions strong, visits network dentists to obtain affordable dental services. Because discount dental plans can guarantee dentists a steady stream of patients, they are able to negotiate extremely low prices for a full range of dental services, from the most routine to the most complex.
In the best of all possible worlds, we would be able to obtain dental coverage that paid the entire cost of any and all procedures. Paperwork would not exist, and we would be able to see any doctor. Although we are far from this reality, discount dental plans may well be the closest thing. Sign up for one of these programs, and you can immediately receive the care you need at prices you can afford.