Choosing a Dental Benefit Plan: What You Need to Know

| October 17, 2011

Choosing a Dental Benefit Plan: What You Need to Know

At Grandview Dental Care, we get phone calls from our patients asking us to help them choose a dental benefit plan. While we agree that there are many variables to consider, it’s important to select a plan that lets you choose any dentist. That’s because dentists like Dr. Thompson and Dr. Hoellrich are providers for only one dental plan, Delta Dental Premier, which comes close to matching our fees. The fees we charge are based on the quality service and care that we provide. But like any purchase, the choice you make has a lot to do with value. Do you want the dentist who’s working on your teeth to cut corners? Probably not. With that in mind, the following points should help you choose a dental benefit plan that’s right for you:

 

  • Dental benefits aren’t insurance plans. Insurance plans provide coverage for catastrophic loss. On the other hand, a dental benefit plan is an agreement to pay for some of your dental needs. The more your employer (or you) pays for coverage, the lower your out-of-pocket expenses will be.
  • Dental benefit plans vary. Most dental plans have deductibles, and the maximum amount they will pay per plan year. At the same time, more than half of all dental procedures are excluded from most dental benefit plan contracts.  Check out this informative guide to dentistry for the consumer.
  • Some dentists aren’t on any dental insurance provider lists. Even in Columbus, a large percentage of dentists are not providers for any dental benefit plan. That’s another good reason to choose a plan that allows you to select your dentist.
  • Dental benefit plans pay only a portion of the dental expense. What’s left over is your responsibility. To understand why, take a closer look at how much you’re paying for dental coverage. It’s typically only about 5 percent of what you pay for medical coverage each month.
  • Dental benefit plans don’t cover our fees. At Grandview Dental Care, we don’t cut corners. We believe in providing quality care at a reasonable price. But we also have expenses to cover of our own, from state-of-the-art equipment to paying highly skilled employees. So, while a plan like Delta Dental Premier comes close to matching our fees, most plans don’t. We might only need to write off 5 to 10 percent for Delta Dental (keep in mind that you pay more on a monthly basis for this plan) versus 30 to 40 percent for other plans. Simply put, we can’t afford to write off 30 to 40 percent and still maintain the quality care we want to provide.
  • Dental plan maximums are outdated. Forty years ago, $1000 maximum was considered to be a reasonable amount of yearly coverage. If that figure was adjusted for inflation, today it would be about $5,000. Unfortunately, employers are forced to keep costs down, so the maximum amounts haven’t changed much over time.

More questions about choosing a dental benefit plan? Let Grandview Dental Care help. We will be more than happy to review your dental benefit plan at your first appointment.  We need to see your coverage booklet to more accurately access your dental coverage.

We are conveniently located in Grandview Heights, just minutes from the Ohio State University campus and a short drive from just about anywhere in Central Ohio.