Dental Insurance vs Dental Benefit – Part 2

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Dentist
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Met Life, Delta Dental, Aetna, Cigna and Guardian Insurance companies all provide some type of dental “insurance” that employers or individuals can choose from along with their general health insurance benefits.  The dental “insurance” benefits differ quite a bit from the general health insurance benefits.  Let’s compare the two.

When you go to your medical doctor for your yearly exam, you may have a co-pay.  Let’s say for instance that you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.  Your doctor will give you a prescription for medication and would like to see you again in two weeks.  You go to check-put and you pay your co-pay of $25.  As the weeks go by, your blood pressure is not regulated to where the doctor wants it to be, but each time you go in, you must pay the $25 co-pay.  The insurance covers the doctor visits, no matter how many you may need to get the blood pressure under control.  (This is true if your policy states this with no limitations.)  They may be paying the doctor $1000’s of dollars.  The limit on health insurance is in the millions of dollars for most policies.

When you go to your dentist for your preventive care appointment, you may have a co-pay, but most likely you do not.  Let’s now say that you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease.  Your dentist and hygienist have recommended you come back more frequently for hygiene visits.  Scaling and root planing are recommended along with every 3 month perio-maintenance procedures.  The dental “insurance” will cover up to $1000 in benefits.  THAT IS IT!  Even though periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, patients with diabetes have been recommended to see the dentist at least 4 times per year, and children with braces should see the hygienist at least 4 times per year, the dental benefits only allows $1000/year and only two exams and two “healthy” cleanings.

When dental insurance benefits first started in 1971, the benefits were approximately $1000 per year.  40 years later, you will note that more than 75% of the benefits are still $1000 per year.  Do you know of anything that you bought in 1971 that would be the same cost today?  When you take a 6% rate of inflation per year, you should be receiving over $5000 per year in dental benefits in today’s market.  Have your premiums remained the same since 1971 for the same benefits?

Dental insurance is not a pay-all; it is only a benefit.  It is not insurance – it is a benefit with a yearly maximum.

At Aristo Dental, we have found a way to help people who run out of benefits and those who do not have dental benefits provided by their employer.

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