Finding affordable dental coverage can be very difficult. While the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) has made significant strides in ensuring more Americans have access to at least a minimum of health coverage over the last several years, dental coverage for adults still lags behind.
Compounding the issue is the common misconception that dental care is less important than overall health care. While it’s true that having insurance in place for catastrophic illness and emergency care can be lifesaving, the effect of proper oral health on the rest of your body can’t be overstated.
"...the effect of proper oral health on the rest of your body can’t be overstated."
In fact, a semiannual checkup performed by your dentist can be extremely valuable, since many serious diseases and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and oral cancer can present themselves in the mouth. Early detection (often by a dentist) can lead to successful treatment of such serious illnesses.
If you don’t currently have any dental coverage and the cost of paying for dental care out-of-pocket is preventing you from caring properly for your oral health, consider the following ideas:
Review your current medical plan
Don't let complicated medical plans stand in the way of finding affordable dental care.
If you have medical insurance already but do not have a separate plan for dental care, review the policy closely to see if any aspect of dental care may be covered.
In some cases, basic preventive dental care, including one or two cleanings and examinations per year may be covered as part of the overall health plan. In other cases, additional coverage may be available to add onto your current plan for an extra premium each month.
Usually, adequate dental coverage is not associated with many health insurance plans. This can be financially binding in two ways: 1. Pay for dental insurance or 2. Not take on coverage and pay out-of-pocket, are both expensive additions to health care costs.
Dental discount programs
For individuals without dental insurance, there are many non-insurance alternatives to save on care. For example, one of the best alternatives to insurance to cut costs and adhere to a budget is using a discount dental card through a program like Dental Solutions.
Using a dental discount card means a very small monthly fee (about the price of two Starbuck’s lattes) provides up to 50% off the normal out-of-pocket cost through participating dental providers across the country. There are no deductibles, copays, or hidden fees, and the plan covers all members of the family regardless of age, pre-existing conditions, or economic situation. This small monthly payment is typically much more manageable and provides greater savings in the long run than affording dental coverage.
Local low-price clinics
In some areas, especially places with a high number of low-income residents, local low- or no-fee dental clinics have been established to help individuals without insurance obtain the oral health care they need.
There are often strict requirements to qualify for care, and the waiting period for an appointment may be long. But, these locations offer another alternative to consider if other mainstream dental plan options are out of reach.
To find clinics in your area, create an online search for “low cost dental clinics in ___” with the closest city name in the blank space, or search for “low cost dental clinics near me” on your mobile phone.
Whatever method you choose to save on dental care, it’s extremely important not to pass on regular trips to the dentist. It’s not just about maintaining an attractive smile. Proper dental care can have a tremendous impact on your health, well being, and quality of life. Find out more about low cost dental care options today.