It seems like one of the most simple things in the world, the kind of payment you make every month without even thinking about it: dental insurance. Many people view it along the same lines as health insurance, and rightly so, as an essential payment that must be made to protect the health and well being of yourself and the people you care for.
However, living in the age of austerity is making many people look again at their monthly outgoings and see what exactly they are finding the money for every month. With many payments passing the unavoidable test – rent or mortgage, grocery shopping, health shopping, taxes and anything to do with raising children — it can bring extra scrutiny down on something like dental insurance. This may be dismissed as people being too obsessed with cutting corners to actually see the big picture, but could there actually be something to the idea that maybe dental insurance is one of those things that you can let slide?
It may seen anathema, but it’s definitely worth considering. More and more people are turning their back on dental insurance, and it’s for good reason.
The primary cause of this is the simple truth that it often costs more to pay in to a dental insurance plan than you will ever really be able to recoup, especially if you suffer from claims being rejected or downgraded as so often happens. With the rules for payouts all the more stringent and usually involving an upfront fee of some sort anyway, it may be time to consider if this is actually a financial product you are benefiting from.
Begin by calculating up the cost of the payments you have made to the plan, and then subtract the average cost of the things you have claimed for in that time. Don’t forget to factor in any advance fees or excess you have had to pay. Now you should be beginning to see if it’s really worth it, especially if you extend the math five years in to the future. Does it still make sense?
In some cases it may well do, and that’s absolutely understandable, but if you find yourself paying in far more than you have had chance to take out then it may be worth pursuing other options and seeing if you can find a better deal. Always make financial decisions carefully and with thorough research, but on this occasion it may be worth the investigation.
When you are looking for medical care, you will always be aware that you don’t want to overspend for the care that you need, but there is always that secondary impulse that tells you you don’t want to make the mistake of settling for poor quality care in the interests of saving money. Taking the time to shop around a little may help you get a better deal on a healthcare plan, but if you have a nagging feeling that a slightly bigger spend could get you much better care, it can feel like a false economy.
When considering dental discount plans, certainly, it is undeniable that there are certain prejudices and misconceptions that surround the entire idea. People are reluctant to cut corners on healthcare because, after all, health is the one thing that you can’t bargain with. People look at discount dental plans and ask why you would take the risk of economising with your dental health – and from there spawns a welter of misinformation.
Some people suggest that because the treatment is cheaper, you will get second-class treatment at the dentist. This impression is so wrong as to be frankly hysterical. Just think about what that statement is saying – that a professional dentist, bound by regulations and reputation to provide healthcare to their patients, will approach their job in a deliberately slovenly way. How long would they remain a dentist if that were the case? Not to mention the fact that the dental plan actually covers them financially anyway.
Additionally, there is an argument that the discounts are so small as to make the card uneconomical. This, too, is generally inaccurate. Although the plans vary in terms of level of discount and in terms of what you can get a discount on, there are many parts of your treatment – key aspects too, not just minor cosmetic treatments – that can be discounted by up to 75% or more. When you consider how much ongoing dental treatment can cost, those discounts are highly valuable.
Finally, there are some people who will swear to you that dental discount plans are the preserve of welfare claimants who are reckless with their money. This is so far wide of the mark as to be practically comedic – after all, these are plans that help you save money. Precisely how reckless does that sound?
In the long run, dental discount plans are as effective as you’ll allow them to be. Take the time to use them properly and they can save you a great deal of money – and that’s good news for anyone.