Discount plan? Dental insurance? What’s the difference?

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November 14th, 2018

If you’ve been to your dentist recently, you may have seen advertisements for an in-house dental plan or discount plan. Are you wondering how that differs from your dental insurance?

Discount plans

Discount plans have become common among dentist offices. They are not insurance, but rather options offered by dentists (or in some cases an insurance carrier). How they work:

  • A member pays a full fee for a year of membership.
  • The member then receives a discount on services performed by a participating dentist.
  • Discounts may not be provided on all services a dentist performs.
  • Fees vary from office to office.
  • Discounts vary by procedure.
  • Normally, benefits are not applicable for specialty clinics (such as an endodontist or a periodontist).
  • Most in-house dental plans do not offer nationwide coverage, so be wary if you are a snowbird or frequent traveler.

Dental insurance

As a member of Delta Dental of Minnesota, you:

  • Have the option to pay annually or monthly – whichever is more convenient.
  • Receive a network discount on services, with an average discount of 20-30%, and co-insurance coverage.
  • Enjoy coverage for “just in case” items, like a root canal or a filling.
  • Have coverage at both general dentist offices and specialty clinics.
  • Have access to 90% of Minnesota dentists as part of Delta Dental of Minnesota’s networks.
  • Have nationwide coverage.
  • Don’t have to worry about paying your dentist – payments are made directly to an in-network dentist by Delta Dental of Minnesota.

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