Over the last few years, dental insurance has changed; it isn’t like it used to be. There are several reasons for this–a diminished corporate workforce, dental insurance plans lowering reimbursements to dental professionals, rising charges to patients, and fewer procedures being covered are just a few. Research shows that doctors are under-reimbursed while patients overpay.
As a result of these factors, more and more people find it difficult to afford dental insurance and are therefore uninsured. In addition, many people can’t afford dental care and are suffering and going without it. To fill a need in the market, dentists have begun to offer individual dental plans that are through memberships. Much like you might join a wholesale club like Costco as a member and get certain benefits in discounts, these dental membership plans offer the same kind of concept.
At Hamby Family Dental, your local Fuquay-Varina dentist, we offer terrific dental membership plans for our patients. In this article, we explore what a membership plan is and offer reasons why an individual dental membership plan might be the right choice for you.
Current State of Dental Insurance Coverage
During the recent past, dental insurance has become more and more confusing and cumbersome for the public as well as for dental service providers. Understanding what is covered and the percentage that is covered in a dental plan can be difficult. A person could get the impression that private insurance providers don’t want you to use their coverage, especially when you add on the difficulty in filing claims, the high deductibles, preexisting conditions, the caps on spending, and so forth.
When patients don’t have coverage, they feel vulnerable to having a dental need and having to pay for it out-of-pocket. Almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States have no form of dental benefit coverage.
What Is a Dental Membership Plan?
Because of the difficulty, complexity, and low payouts of traditional dental insurance, doctors and patients alike have looked for alternatives to avoid the insurance companies while still offering beneficial coverage. In an effort to make seeing the dentist and having dental care more financially affordable for uninsured patients, more dental practices have created their own private dental membership plans.
A dental membership plan is not health insurance. Instead, it is a licensed dental savings plan. As with any other service-based program, you sign up for the membership plan. You pay an annual fee, usually paid monthly, and you receive all of the benefits and the cost savings that are in the members-only plan.
How Do Dental Membership Plans Work?
As a patient, you purchase a benefits plan for a specific range or types of treatments at specified, pre-set discounted rates. For example, you will pay a flat fee annually that gives you discounts on two cleanings, one exam, and an x-ray for the year. When you get a package with more treatments, the membership fee increases. Both dentists and patients can circumvent the limitations of dealing with insurance companies. Patients pay only for the dental treatments they need. Prenegotiated flat fees have the benefit of the having the patient know upfront what the charges are and, therefore, simplifying the payment process.
Reasons for Joining a Dental Membership Plan
Here are six reasons why signing up for a dental membership plan is a good idea.
1) You know all the prices and the dental procedures upfront
A dental membership plan, unlike traditional dental insurance, is very straightforward. You know what is covered and what isn’t covered. All of the rates are specified upfront for covered procedures and there are no hidden fees. You don’t have to be concerned with deductibles, maximums, and exclusions.
2) No Paperwork or Reimbursement Claims
You never have to wait for insurance claims to be processed or deal with overly complex paperwork when you are in a membership dental plan. There is no confusion on coverage limits or exemptions as with traditional dental insurance. Most dental practices will streamline the benefits they offer so as to control the process.
3) Easy to Enroll
Enrolling in the plan is quick and easy. Most dentists have plans with top-notch cutting-edge software that allow you to enroll either:
- Online or in the office
- Before or after an appointment
- Using a phone, computer, or tablet
4) Most patients keep up with preventative care better when part of a membership plan
Without coverage, many people neglect preventative dental care and find themselves more often than not in emergency situations. With a membership dental care plan, patients don’t have to worry about the costs and usually get priority with the dentist, so there is no reason to skip preventative care.
5) Required procedures are automatically discounted
Dental membership plans, unlike traditional insurance, make it easy to determine what treatment is included in your plan by offering a standard discount percentage for any necessary dental treatment. In some cases, you get a discount on a dental treatment that would not have been covered with traditional dental insurance. Your dentist knows you and can determine what is necessary for your oral health regardless of how insurance may judge the situation.
6) Families get discounts for each family member
Most dental membership plans provided through family dentists offer discounts for family members. Each family member who joins in your family plan receives a reduced rate and is eligible for all of the same services that are included in a standard membership for an individual. Parents with uninsured children as well as adult children can get all of the same benefits.
Hamby Family Dental Center Membership Plans
Hamby Family Dental Center offers an annual membership plan that offers you savings on procedures so you can keep up with your oral care. We have a plan that focuses on adults and one that focuses on children. Both plans are valid for one year from the date of purchase.
Adult Preventative Dental Plan
The annual membership fee of $495.00 (valued at $588.00) entitles you to:
- 2 regular cleanings
- 2 exams
- 1 set of bitewing x-rays or a panorex
- 1 emergency exam (with dental x-rays if needed)
- 15% discount on operative procedures
Child Preventative Dental Plan
The annual membership fee of $456.00 (valued at $602.00) entitles you to:
- 1 basic cleaning every 6 months
- Oral cancer screening with cleaning
- 1-2 exams/year
- X-rays as determined necessary
- 1 emergency exam with X-ray/year
- 1 Fluoride treatment/year
- Up to 10% off any needed treatment
Contact Hamby Family Dental Center Today
Don’t neglect your oral health because of being uninsured or having tight finances. Come see us to find out more about our annual dental membership plans and how you can benefit from joining. Call us at 919-552-2431 or fill out the form below to request an appointment.