Toothaches are among the most uncomfortable types of pain, so having a dental care plan for your family is essential. With that said, there are countless providers offering a seemingly infinite number of plans. Choosing the best one for your family is not always easy, especially if you’re looking for a comprehensive package on a budget.
It’s true that a great dental plan can save you a huge amount of time, money, and hassle. But, you have to understand the different options available, learn how to determine your family’s needs, and choose a reliable provider to choose the best plan.
At Membersy, our goal is to ensure that everyone has access to quality oral care and that all families have a plan that’s a perfect fit for their needs.
Below, we’ll go over the importance of having a dental plan for your family, how to choose a dental care plan, the different options available, and a few mistakes to avoid during the selection process.
Why Do You Need a Dental Plan for Your Family?
While home care is crucial, the American Dental Association reminds us that dentists can tailor their services to each one of their patient’s unique needs. Having an oral care plan can help ensure that your entire family stays on top of their oral hygiene.
In simple terms, a dental care plan works like a membership club. As a member, you pay a low annual fee that grants access to quality dental services from in-network dentists at a discounted price.
Dental plan subscribers can also add direct family members as dependents at a lower cost than the main membership. The exact number of dependents allowed varies, but most providers design their plans with families in mind.
At Membersy, we have a wide selection of dental care plans designed for families of all sizes. To find a plan that has all the benefits you need for your family, use our comparison tool and review the plans available in your zip code.
How to Choose a Dental Care Plan for Your Family
There are many elements you have to consider while choosing a plan for your loved ones.
You need to keep your own dental history in mind and ensure that the practices within the network you choose are suitable in terms of quality and budget. If not, you may end up going to an out-of-network dentist and paying full price for basic treatments.
Moreover, when purchasing coverage you also have to:
Understand Your Family’s Dental Needs
Choosing a plan for an adult under the age of 30 is much easier than selecting one for a household that includes young children. In addition to their own needs, parents of young children need to find a network that includes at least one pediatric dental care practice.
All families are different, so you need to evaluate the needs of each family member and ensure that the plan and network chosen are suitable for all current and future needs.
Learn About the Different Plan Providers
Now that you know what to look for in a plan, it’s time to start your research. There’s a huge number of discount plan providers, but not every one of them provides great value. You need to research the different alternatives and choose a plan provider that focuses on providing quality for value.
Create a List of Plans Available in Your Area
Next, you have to look at the dental plans that are available in your area. Membersy, for instance, has over 50 plans that provide nationwide dental coverage. That’s how we ensure that all of our members have access to quality dental services in their areas.
Ensure that You Understand All Terms Listed in Your Plan
A dental plan is inherently different from an insurance plan. Insurance companies that provide dental indemnity plans and other types of dental health insurance plans usually have requirements like waiting periods, costly monthly fees, and high deductibles.
In contrast, members of a dental care plan have immediate access to all of the benefits listed by the provider, don’t need to worry about consultation limits, and can receive dental treatments without having to file a claim.
With that in mind, you also have to look at the exact benefits and advantages of each plan. You should check if your prospective providers require patients to take additional steps to book appointments with participating dentists. Moreover, find out how much it costs to add dependents to your plan and what type of coverage your family members receive as members.
Most memberships include benefits like free checkups and discounts on all services without an annual cap or annual maximum. Others may not include any free consultations, but offer a larger discount or network, so you need to narrow down your plans based on the features you need. These may or may not be included in the group plans’ coverage, so remember to make sure that the conditions align with your needs before making a commitment.
Compare the Plan Price to Your Budget
Once you have your list of runner-ups, you can start weighing the different options against your budget. Again, our comparison tool is a great resource because it allows you to type in your zip code and see all the plans in your area. You can even select a few different options and do a side-by-side comparison of these in order to make the best decision.
Again, this will vary based on the size and needs of your family members, At Membersy, we take the time to crunch the numbers and organize the best options for you. All you need to do is review the plans and choose the best alternative based on your family’s requirements.
Understanding the Various Types of Dental Plans
In addition to the reputation of your provider, you also have to learn about the types of plans you can choose from. These include:
- Preferred Provider Plans: Members pay a percentage of the overall dental expenses when working with the plan’s network of dentists
- Dental Health Maintenance Plans: Focused on preventative care, it gives access to oral care services with a major discount (great for lowering big healthcare bills)
- Discount Plans: Members can choose from a network of dentists and get bigger discounts than Preferred Provider and Maintenance plans (with lower out-of-pocket costs)
- Traditional Plans: Similar to Preferred Provider, traditional plans cover a part of the full cost of the service while members cover the rest as out-of-pocket costs
What’s Covered By Each Plan?
As a member of an oral care subscription, you’ll enjoy discounted fees for services like gum disease consultations and fluoride treatments as long as you go to an in-network dentist. In some cases, these discounts will extend to major procedures like root canals, while others focus mainly on more basic preventive services.
Depending on the type of dental health plan, patients may only need to pay out of pocket for certain treatments. You need to research the different options and make sure to understand the differences between them to select the best alternative.
Since every oral care plan provider has unique options, you have to weigh the different options in your area to understand what type of coverage you have available. Remember that this relates directly to the type of organization you’re working with.
Dental PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations), for instance, focus on general dental health, while discount plan providers center their services around preventive treatments like routine cleanings. Therefore the dental PPO network will be very different from that of a discount plan provider as well as most dental insurers.
To give you an idea of what you can expect, we’ll take a look at three different plans available at Membersy.
The Epic Plan includes dental benefits like:
- Exams Discount: 50%
- X-Rays Discount: 50%
- Cleanings Discount: 50%
- Waiting Period: None
- Comprehensive Exams Discount: 50%
Dental Works Advantage Plan
Members of this plan can enjoy advantages such as:
- Exams Price: Free
- X-Rays Price: Free
- Cleanings Discount: 30%
- Waiting Period: None
- Comprehensive Exams Price: Free
Membersy Direct Plan
Here are some of the advantages of joining the Membersy Direct Plan:
- Exams Price: Free
- X-Rays Price: Free
- Cleanings Discount: 20-50%
- Waiting Period: None
- Comprehensive Exams Price: Free
Tips to Choose the Best Dental Care Plan
There is no exact formula for choosing the ideal oral care plan. Some households have a bigger focus on preventive care services, while others require access to more complex dental procedures.
Most insurance companies and dental HMOs (health maintenance organizations) lack the flexibility to offer a great benefits package at a low price. The good news is that hiring a stand-alone dental plan can provide more benefits than a single dental insurance company or dental HMO, like access to high-quality preventive care at a discounted cost.
Every family has unique requirements, so you’ll have to speak with your loved ones and figure out exactly what you need to have in your plan. You should also research each provider independently and compare their rates, the size of their networks, and their benefits packages.
Also make sure to:
Consult with Your Family Dentist
Your current dentist should be your first point of call when looking for a great plan. Besides having the qualifications to fully understand the service packages, your family dentist also has in-depth knowledge and understanding about your family’s needs.
If you want to keep the same dentist, you can even ask about the types of plans that the practice accepts. You may get a local recommendation that is worth looking into by just asking!
Make Sure Your Dental Professionals Are Close to You
Even small trips can become burdensome when experiencing a toothache. Choosing an independent or separate dental plan with practitioners in your area can also save you a huge amount of time, so make sure that you choose a network that’s close to you.
Evaluate Your Family’s Pastimes
If your family members play contact sports or participate in similar activities, they are more likely to experience dental health issues.
You should consider your household member’s different pastimes and verify that the family plan you choose is a good fit based on these activities.
Mistakes You Should Avoid When Choosing an Oral Care Plan
There is no question that both medical and oral care are essential, but most patients put a bit more focus on the former than the latter. One of the reasons is that dental practices may all seem similar, but oral care plans can be completely different nonetheless.
Here are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid when shopping for a new dental care plan.
Only Thinking About the Price
Yes, the overall price of a dental plan is important, but it should not be the only defining factor in your decision. Review the features and benefits of your different alternatives in full before making a final selection.
After all, paying a higher fee for service plans can become more cost-effective if these allow for bigger savings in the long run.
Forgetting to Ask About Network Size or Dental Coverage
The bigger the network, the easier it will be to find a dentist when you need one. You should always ask about the network size and where the different practices are located to ensure you have easy access whenever you need it.
Bypassing the On-Boarding Process
Most dental plan providers have an on-boarding process that can consist of important articles, videos, and even calls. Rather than skipping this process, take it as an opportunity to learn about the plan you’ve purchased and understand all of the benefits at your disposal.
The Bottom Line
Choosing a plan is not always straightforward. There are no standard requirements for these types of services, so not all plans will offer the features and basic procedures you need to keep your family healthy.
That said, if you take the time to evaluate the different providers, think about your family requirements, and avoid making common mistakes, there’s no question that you’ll be able to find a perfect oral care plan for your loved ones.
To learn more about Membersy’s dental care plans, check us out online at membersy.com.