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A dental plan vs. dental insurance: What is the difference?
The key difference between dental plans and dental insurance is that a dental plan is a discount program and dental insurance is a program that pays a given amount for oral hygiene and oral disease, prevention and treatment. Dental plans offer a given discount on dental procedures. For example, you may receive a 30% discount on dental cleanings, fillings and x-rays. When you are enrolled in a dental insurance plan, your insurance will cover procedures listed in its accepted procedures for a "customary" fee. For both dental plans and dental insurance, will be responsible for the payment of any overages or additional fees or balances on fees for procedures.
Dental plans differ from dental insurance in other areas, too. When you enroll in a dental plan, there is a flat fee payment and there are no co-payments or forms to file. You will enjoy a percentage of savings on most dental procedures. There are no annual limits or lifetime maximums on treatments; however, dental plans offer savings by discounting services, not by covering any of the full costs of procedures.
Dental insurance pays a specific amount for a given procedure. Some dental insurances have lifetime or annual benefit limits and you will have to complete claim forms. When you are enrolled in dental insurance, you will often have a co-pay, which is your portion of the payment for each procedure. Each time that you visit your dentist, you will have to pay a given amount before services are provided. Customary co-payments range from $5.00 to $25.00.
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