Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

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standard7
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Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:39 am

Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:45 am

Anyone using a dental savings plan?

I have been investigating dental insurance or a dental savings plan, and I've just signed up for a dental savings plan. I have 30 days to try out the plan which offered a refund minus a $20 processing fee if not satisfied. I confirmed that my dentist will accept the plan and they were nice enough to give me a sample of potential savings, which appeared to be roughly 28% off of several basic services. Not the larger discounts shown on the website, but those discounts could add up especially if we have any significant dental work throughout the year. The cost was less that $200 for a family plan, so it's likely that I would retrieve that cost with discounts on yearly preventative care for 2. And, there is no annual limitation as the dental insurance plans have.

I realize that these are run by marketing companies not insurance companies. Presumably they negotiate a deal to use logos of reputable insurance companies and that may be the only connection to the insurance company as far as the consumer is concerned. And in fact the company that I chose has 2 identical plans under 2 different insurance companies. Exactly the same except for the logo. Which apparently is a benefit because you can switch from one or the other if your dentist drops out of one of the plans. All payments will be direct to the dentist after getting the discount. So, it appears more similar to GoodRx than it is an insurance. The annual cost was low, so trying it for a year may be worth the test.

While I have 30 days and I won't be able to give it a good test, is anyone currently using a dental savings plan?

thank you.

nalor511
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by nalor511 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:09 pm

It's hard to comment without a link or other details about this plan, but there's another thread discussing similar issues here viewtopic.php?f=2&t=273930

Topic Author
standard7
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:27 pm

Hi Nalor511

Thank you for the link. That discussion does bounce back and forth from an insurance plan to a savings plan which are very different. I was hoping to find some feedback from people using a Dental savings plan (not insurance). All discount plans are relatively similar, and offer similar benefits. It appears that the main difference is that they are administered by different companies. Essentially you pay a fee and get a discount card to be used at your dentist. No claims are submitted, services are paid based upon a discount chart at the dentist. And as I mentioned the plans are somewhat independent of the insurance companies that sell their brands/logos:

https://www.dentalplans.com/

https://www.cignadentalsavings.com/

https://www.1dental.com/dental-savings-plans/

and some basic info from Suze Orman about dental plans - https://www.suzeorman.com/blog/a-dental ... you-smile/
about the Aetna plan: https://www.aetnadentaloffers.com/denta ... ings-plans

btw... I went with the Cigna plan from dentalplans.com mainly because it looked slightly more legit than the other option which had missing graphics on their website, and because Suze Orman is a spokesperson. Neither are very valid reasons for choosing anything, but having discussed it with my dental office, it seemed like it really doesn't make a different who administers the plan. Although I won't really know until I've been able to test it out.

thanks again,

nalor511
Posts: 441
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by nalor511 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:54 pm

Well... for me searching the cigna link you posted:

Dentist Search
Dentist not found in <your zip code>.

So that makes it an easy decision for me :shock:

Topic Author
standard7
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:01 pm

yup, that's a problem :)

Like most plans it's probably not available everywhere. Although in my case I found that plans were available in my zip code, but my Dentist wasn't listed even though they are within the 10 mile radius, so I plopped in the zip code of my dentist and then I found them. After that I called both the plan administrator and the dentist to confirm because I really don't trust these things :wink:

Cpadave
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by Cpadave » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:24 pm

So here is my experience with dental saving (aetna). We were told by our dentist that the cost for crown (my wife) would be cheaper with aetna savings vs what the dentist would normally charge. It ended up being $1,800 with aetna savings. They said it would have been $2,500 otherwise. Ended up paying $2500 anyway as dentist claimed there were other issues. Being very unhappy with the cost I found out they also accept Guardian. Few weeks later I needed a crown as well. Using guardian for the same size crown he charged $1,200. This is our 3rd dentist and we are tired of changing dentist as I generally don't trust many of them based on my experience.

The guardian was more expensive at $32 a month but also covered 2 cleaning and pays 50% for filings. So my advice is to see if they accept actual insurance where they need to send claim even if not covered, so you can see the negotiated rate. You most likely also get a better negotiated rate.

Topic Author
standard7
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:48 pm

Hi Cpadave
The guardian was more expensive at $32 a month but also covered 2 cleaning and pays 50% for filings. So my advice is to see if they accept actual insurance where they need to send claim even if not covered, so you can see the negotiated rate. You most likely also get a better negotiated rate.
My choices for individual purchase dental insurance is limited. My dentist does accept several insurance plans that are employer group only plans. There are 2 plans that they will accept but they aren't members. So cleanings etc would not be covered at 100%, I believe the benefit would be in the 50-80% area for preventative services, and then the maximum per person annual amount is limited to $750. As a result the total annual benefit is somewhat limited and the premiums are roughly $40 per month per person.

It's quite likely that dental insurance for me isn't going to be the same value as health insurance.

thanks
Last edited by standard7 on Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BogleMelon
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:50 pm

My dentist's name is showing accepting these plans, however, upon calling him he said he is no longer accepting them. OP, always call your dentist to confirm first even though his name is shown as taking it on the website.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

Cpadave
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by Cpadave » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm

Yes. Individual dental insurance are not going to cover much and the cash benefit most likely will not be more than the cost. But for us it was more about getting the best negotiated price for dental work. I wish dentist would just give the best price to self pay vs insurance. They get paid faster and no paperwork. But they don't operate that way.

Topic Author
standard7
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:54 pm

BogleMelon

Thanks, yes I did confirm with my dentist. Not sure how this will play out, but based upon a brief conversation with them, the amount I paid for the plan will be returned with just the discount on the cleanings. Since I've always paid out of pocket I shouldn't be any worse than I have in the past.

... or maybe not. :oops:

Topic Author
standard7
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Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:39 am

Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:56 pm

Cpadave wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm
I wish dentist would just give the best price to self pay vs insurance.

yup.

tj
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by tj » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:17 pm

standard7 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:56 pm
Cpadave wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm
I wish dentist would just give the best price to self pay vs insurance.

yup.
Why would they do that? Insurance is basically marketing for them. They get a ton of clients. If they have a big client base, perhaps they will be less inclined to deal with insurance, but you might find it harder to get an appointment. And to get a cheap rate.

toofache32
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by toofache32 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:07 am

standard7 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:56 pm
Cpadave wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm
I wish dentist would just give the best price to self pay vs insurance.

yup.
They will. Just give them what the insurance gives them for volume discounts.

Chris K Jones
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Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by Chris K Jones » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:10 am

I use Aetna Vital Savings and am happy with it. When I was researching this, most of the discussion here was not favorable, but my experience has been good. I have had it for about 16 months now. Previously I had a non-employer sponsored Humana Dental insurance plan. In the first year, the Savings plan saved me money without question. Like you, my dentists are in the plan. One other advantage is that you get the reduced rates for all the services. Not just the ones the insurance company approves. Best wishes.

Topic Author
standard7
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Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:39 am

Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:20 am

Hi Chris

Thank you! Good to hear of a favorable experience we really like our dentist and they were very nice to help out with information about insurance/savings plans options. So we are going to continue to give it a try.

Do you know if your plan is administered by dentalplans? It seems that the only option is to print out a card. It doesn’t appear that they send anything out.

Thanks again

Topic Author
standard7
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:39 am

Re: Dental savings plans, anyone using one?

Post by standard7 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:08 pm

> It seems that the only option is to print out a card. It doesn’t appear that they send anything out.

I stand corrected. I received cards in the mail with additional information about the plan.

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