Low Cost Dental Care - 7 Places to Search

Today, dental care can cost a small fortune. For cash-strapped individuals and families, the cost of routine preventative dental care can be a burden. The cost of major dental work such as crowns or dentures could be a real budget buster. Is it possible for a person to find affordable dental care, or even free dental care if needed?
Low-cost dentistry can be a reality if you know where to look. The following 7 suggestions can help you locate the care that you need.
1. Clinical Trials
Medical and dental researchers often look for volunteers with specific conditions to participate in their studies. Dental research participants receive free or low-cost dental treatment. While not as widely available as other options, the right type of clinical trail could be a godsend for some people in need of extensive dental work. For a complete list of current or up-coming federally funded clinical trials, visit clinicaltrials.gov.
2. Dental Schools
While there are fewer than 40 dental schools throughout the country, if one is near you, it can be a good resource for quality, low-cost dental care. Dental students at these facilities gain real-life experience treating patients at a reduced cost. All care is supervised by experienced instructors. Check your local telephone book or go on-line to find out if a dental school is in your area.
3. Health Resources and Services Administration
This Federal Agency supports federally-funded community health centers throughout the country. These centers provide free or low-cost health and dental services to people of all ages. Call 1-888-Ask-HRSA to find out if a center is in your area.
4. Medicaid
Medicaid is a state program, supplemented by Federal dollars, that provides medical benefits, and in some cases dental benefits, to individuals and families. States set their own guidelines regarding eligibility and services. In most states, dental services are provided to children and young adults under the age of 21.
5. Other State and Local Government Resources
Your state or county health department should know of any programs in your area that offer low-cost or free dental care. Check your local phonebook for telephone numbers for both state and local health departments.
6. United Way
Call your local United Way office. They may be able to direct you to low-cost or free dental care services in your community.
7. A Low-Cost Dental Plan
Dental plans have grown in popularity in recent years. Unlike traditional dental insurance, dental plans require no waiting periods and pre-existing dental conditions are covered immediately. The drawback is you must use a participating plan dentist for savings. However, if a dental plan has a suitable selection of plan dentists in your area, then becoming a plan member is an effective way to cut your dental bills in half.

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Discount Dental Plans – An Affordable Alternative To Dental Insurance

America is in the midst of a healthcare crisis. Close to 48 million Americans do not have any health insurance and many are underinsured. Even more Americans lack good dental care. Statistics show that as many as 7 out of 10 Americans do not have an affordable dental plan. This is a serious situation because dental and gum disease can effect your general health. There is evidence that the bacteria from diseased gums and teeth may cause inflammation in the body which can eventually lead to heart and coronary artery disease. Preventive dental care can avoid these serious complications. In addition, a pleasant and healthy smile can help you feel confident and secure when you meet people, and can even help you perform better at a job interview.
While most families realize the importance of good dental care, the cost of dental treatment has become prohibitively expensive in the past few years as has the cost of dental insurance. If you work for a large company, you may be able to obtain a traditional dental insurance policy. This will help with some expenses; however, most dental insurance plans have limits on how much an individual can spend on dental treatment per year. Typical annual dental plan yearly maximums are as low as $1,000 per patient. Treatment to save just one tooth with a root canal and a porcelain crown to protect the devitalized tooth will easily top this limit. What if a family member needs more extensive work than this?
Another problem that patients have with dental insurance is that there will usually be a waiting period of up to one year for pre-existing dental conditions to be covered. If you have a serious dental problem, waiting a year before treatment can be initiated will only lead to a worsening of the condition meaning more costly treatment will be required in the future. Most dental insurance policies also have a missing tooth clause. This means that if a bridge or partial denture is needed for a tooth that was missing prior to treatment; the patient is not covered and must pay out of pocket.
Most traditional dental insurance plans offer very limited or no coverage for orthodontic treatment (braces) even though good tooth alignment can prevent more serious dental problems later on. In addition, cosmetic dentistry and dental implants are rarely covered.
Another problem with dental insurance is the long claim forms that must be submitted. This is a hassle for both the patient and dental office alike.
Clearly for many families, a dental discount plan offers an affordable alternative to costly dental insurance. These dental discount plans are readily available to individuals, the self employed, as well as businesses. For patients with ongoing conditions or who need extensive restorative work, a dental discount plan is clearly the better choice because they will save much more with the discount program.
Savings with a good dental discount plan typically range from 25% for specialist treatment (periodontists, oral surgeons, endodontists, etc.) to 80% for exams. Most major dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, crowns and bridges, dentures, and orthodontic treatment offer savings from 50% to 60% and even more when done by a general dentist--literally cutting a family's dental bill by more than half. In addition, patients will enjoy instant savings, no limits on visits or services, no age limits, no waiting period, and no paperwork. As an added benefit, many discount dental plans also offer value added services such as a prescription card, and savings on chiropractic and vision care.

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United Healthcare Insurance From Golden Rule

United Healthcare through their subsidiary Golden Rule is a carrier offering affordable health insurance rates in much of the United Sates. Recently UHC added several new benefit options to their individual and family plans including preventive care, dental coverage, term life, as well as more deductible, coinsurance, and copay choices.
Comprehensive Coverage Options
Consumers who wish to purchase comprehensive health insurance coverage should consider the Copay Select, Plan 100, and HSA 100. The Copay Select offers preventive care, prescription drug coverage, and either a $25 or $35 doctor's office copay - all of which are not subject to the deductible. The HSA 100 is a health savings account qualified plan offering preventive care that will cover medical expenses at 100% after the deductible has been met. The Plan 100 works much like the HSA 100 except that it does not offer a tax qualified health savings account and more than one deductible must be met before families are covered as a whole.
High Deductible Catastrophic Coverage
Consumers who want catastrophic, lower premium health insurance plans will find an abundant selection with UHC. The HSA 80, Plan 80, Saver 80, and the Copay Saver all offer comprehensive medical coverage at an affordable price. These types of plans will offer higher deductibles as well as 20% coinsurance (usually up to $10,000) after the deductible has been met. No frills coverage like this may not offer much in the way of first dollar benefits like prescription drug coverage and doctor's office co-pays, but the trade off is low cost insurance that will cover larger medical claims.
Available Benefit Options
All plans with UHC offer several riders that can be purchased at an additional cost. Riders include a lifetime maximum of 5 million as oppose to 3 million, a 24 month rate guarantee, supplemental accident coverage, term life insurance, maternity coverage, increased prescription drug coverage, and many states offer two dental plans to choose from.
Competitive Niche for the Shopper
UHC polices are competitive in many age groups including individual and family policies. Clients enjoy their large nationwide network and affordable rates. Underwriting is not accept/decline as with some other carriers, rather the insurance company might not include coverage for certain preexisting conditions like back disorders, severe asthma, allergies, etc. Oftentimes this means consumers can purchase health insurance with riders through United Healthcare when they have been declined elsewhere.
In summary, UHC offers several plans with different coinsurance and deductible options for prospective insureds. Affordability, network strength, and underwriting options are their most attractive features. As with all insurance, it is important to read the brochure and/or policy provisions for possible exclusions.
A.M. Hyers has been working in the insurance and investment industry for over ten years. He owns and operates Hyers and Associates, Inc. an independent insurance agency doing business in Arizona, Florida Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
His agency offers insurance products in the individual, family, and small business group marketplace. They use the leading national insurance carriers to quote health insurance, health savings accounts, dental, and vision plans.
Other lines of insurance offered include life insurance, disability insurance, and long term care insurance. They use several carriers to quote Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Part D coverage for seniors. Additionally, the independent agents of Hyers and Associates Inc. offer fixed, indexed, and immediate annuity policies for individual and group retirement plans.

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Dental Plans For Great Dental Care

People often do not pay as much attention to their dental health as they do to other illnesses, often with serious consequences. To keep dental diseases at bay and to meet the rising costs of dental treatment it is important that you choose a good dental plan. Having a dental plan should encourage you to take more preventive care of your teeth to avoid the more serious dental problems.
With medical insurance services, the cost of a particular medical treatment or health check is reimbursed directly by the insurance company to the medical service provider. With dental insurance plans, the company is responsible for reimbursing the dentist. Dental plans can however vary in type and feature. Dentists participating in discount dental plans take lower fees than those covered by regular dental plans, with discounts varying between 20% and 60%.
All dental plans charge a membership fee, with the amount varying from one plan to the other. Dental plans are offered to either individuals or to the whole family, with family dental plans usually offering bigger discounts than individual dental plans. You should compare the rates charged under the different plans before selecting the most appropriate one for you.
It is important also to know the type of dental services covered by your dental plan. Routine dental check ups and dental treatments such as oral examination, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatment, teeth filling and teeth extraction are generally covered by most dental plans. However, dental plans do not always cover major dental care treatments such as oral surgery, dental implants, restorative care, braces, root canal treatments etc. In case of such costly dental procedures you unfortunately have to foot the bill yourself. Often there are a number of alternative treatments available for certain dental problems. Under such circumstances dental plans allow reimbursement for the cost of the basic dental treatment, and further costs in excess of the basic treatment cost has to be covered by the patient.
Dental health plans may or may not allow you to choose your own dentist, but it is common practice for patients to generally receive dental care from dentists mentioned in the plan. Before choosing a plan make sure that the participating dentists practice in your area. Choose a plan that is accepted nationwide and not restricted to your state. Check whether you are allowed to visit the dentist unscheduled, or at scheduled hours only.
You also need to decide whether you want an annual plan or a monthly plan. Annual dental plans are more cost beneficial than monthly plans. So get regular check ups with your dentist to reap the maximum benefits out of your dental plan.

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