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What’s the difference between dental insurance and dental discount plans?

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  • November 15, 2011

Dental insurance plans work like health insurance. You or your employer pay a monthly premium. After the deductible is reached, the insurance pays all or part of qualified dental expenses, up to a stated maximum. The insurance company pays the dentist directly for its share of your dental expenses.

Like health insurance, these plans come with deductibles, co-pays, waiting periods and/or policy maximums. A typical deductible might be $25 to $50 per person annually. After that, the plan might pay some or all of the dental expenses up to a maximum. Typical premiums are $20-$35 per month for an individual and $50-$100 for a family.

Dental discount plans differ mainly because they DON’T pay any dental expenses for you. Instead, they provide discounted prices from participating dentists.

There are generally no deductibles, no waiting periods and no annual maximums. Typical discounts range from 25 to 60 percent for normal dental work. Plans cost as little as $80 annually for individuals and $150 for families.

Read more about the difference between dental insurance and dental discount plans.