Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Generally speaking, dental insurance, even for those that have coverage through their employer, aren’t worth the cost.  There are several reasons for this:

Typically, dental insurance offered through employers do not provide coverage other than for routine cleanings, xrays and well-care. Other procedures such as braces, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and more are often excluded for coverage.  Moreover, because of the very low reimbursement rates, the best dentists often don’t participate and are considered out of network…thereby resulting in higher out of -pocket costs for the procedures you need.

Private dental insurance plans offer slightly better coverage than employer plans, but these “private” company plans are more expensive and usually don’t cover pre-existing conditions and many more expensive procedures such as root canals, crowns, or cosmetic procedures such as veneers, smile lifts and more. With costs as much as $200 per month with many exclusions, it’s hard to justify purchasing a private plan when you also consider the best dentists very likely don’t accept these plans either because of low reimbursement rates, a significant administrative burden to file and manage claims, etc.

The low reimbursement rate issue is significant and a very big reason many dentists don’t participate.  Consider that in 2014 the California Dental Association filed a class action lawsuit again Delta Dental claiming that Delta Dental had violated a “duty of good faith and fair dealing” when it tried to lower the reimbursement rates by 8% to 12%.

For both types of insurance, patients should also consider that in addition to the exclusions, there may be limits to dental charges in the course of one year.  This could be a problem for consumers who require regular check-ups.  Also, many of these policies are complex and confusing.  So knowing in advance if a procedure is covered may be difficult.

What About Dental Membership Plans?

Dental membership plans vary from dentist to dentist, but are generally a good alternative to dental insurance. Unlike insurance, dental plans allow quality dentists to attract and retain patients who value excellent care.  Membership plans offer patients a significant discount for most services and therefore encourage people to seek regular checkups and treatment. Also, there are usually few exclusions so for patients that want not covered cosmetic dental services, including braces/Invisalign, smile lifts, and other procedures….this is one of the few ways to secure discounts from quality, skilled dentists.

Finally, consider that dentists are willing to offer a dental membership plan to avoid the hassles and paperwork associated with most insurance programs. And because patients pay the discounted rate at the time of service, dentists are not waiting for reimbursement from insurance providers who have a reputation for slow payment to various medical professionals.

There is a difference between dental providers.

Like many professions, there are providers that are exceptionally well-trained and who constantly attend continuing education courses to be the best they can be.  In dentistry, these are the professionals who care only about delivering the best possible patient care, not about how many patients they can see in a day and how much daily income they can generate. These professionals are very different from the high volume dental clinics that offer deeply discounted dental services delivered by just out of dental school dentists.

Calabasas Dental Spa provides comprehensive dental services including diagnostic and preventative dental care, cosmetic dental enhancement procedures, restorative dental services, sleep apnea treatment, and more. Browse Calabasas Dental Spa website to learn more:

Calabasas Dental Spa was founded by Dr. Tania Baker. With over 30 years of extensive medical training and experience, the practice delivers high-tech minimally invasive, biocompatible dentistry. Contact Calabasas Dental spa for details on their Dental Membership Plan.