Whether expected or unexpected, dental procedures present some of the biggest financial hurdles we face in healthcare. Affordable and comprehensive dental insurance plans are scarce, while out-of-pocket costs can be debilitating.
Dental savings plans are a popular option to help offset these costs. These plans offer significant discounts (up to 60%) on the final bill at your dentist’s office in exchange for a yearly membership. Insurance companies run most of these plans, and like anything in the healthcare market, they can be challenging to navigate.
Enter DentalPlans.com, an online marketplace for dental savings plans. This website lets you browse, compare, and purchase from dozens of dental plans at once. So how easy is it to get a dental savings plan using DentalPlans.com? Our team thoroughly tested and analyzed the service. Here, we’ll give you the pros, cons, and all details on how it works so you can decide whether it’s right for you.
- Most yearly plans cost a fraction of traditional dental insurance
- DentalPlans.com compares dental savings plans from over 30 different companies
- Discount plans are not affected by pre-existing conditions
- DentalPlans.com’s location-based search options are easy to use
- You can search for qualifying dentists by location, specialty, and participating programs
- The Price Match guarantee is easy to access and includes little hassle
- You can get 1 month free
- Dental discount plans are not insurance and don’t qualify as health plans under the Affordable Care Act
- As a reseller, DentalPlans.com doesn’t have a lot of control over specific discounts and coverage offered by each plan or dentist
- It can be challenging to use dental plans as a complement to existing dental insurance
We found DentalPlans.com to be a very user-friendly option for anyone looking to shop around for dental savings plans. The search options and filters are simple yet efficient. Most plans cost barely a third of what traditional dental insurance would cost. Keep in mind that since the company only offers third-party plans, it has no control over the quality of your experience when you start using your savings plan. That said, many of the plans offered on DentalPlans.com are backed by reliable insurance companies and can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the event of an accident or sudden dental issue.
DentalPlans.com gives you a user-friendly marketplace experience for finding dental savings plans, which can save you a lot of money.
While these dental savings plans aren’t the same as insurance, they can save you 60% on dental bills if you pay a relatively low annual membership fee. DentalPlans.com makes it easy to compare and find the plan that suits you best.
Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
We extensively test each health service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, this review of DentalPlans.com, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Dental savings plans are “discount clubs” for all types of dental treatments, from routine cleanings to emergency extractions or complex orthodontics treatments.
Dental savings plans are different from dental insurance. Instead of having an insurance company paying for some of your dental expenses, you’ll be fully responsible for all costs. However, you won’t be paying the general public prices, as your membership will entitle you to anywhere from 20% to 70% off the final bill.
Because of this, dental savings plans are not subject to coverage caps, and you won’t need to request pre-authorization letters before a major scheduled procedure. The price of membership is not affected by pre-existing conditions either, making them more accessible than many insurance policies.
Savings plans are also significantly cheaper than traditional dental insurance. While the average cost of dental insurance ranges between $3 and $50 a month, you can find an individual plan on DentalPlans.com for as low as $120 a year.
Cost alone makes savings plans an attractive option for anyone who goes to the dentist sparingly (for regular cleanings and little else). Most dental discount plans keep a limited amount of affiliate dentists in each area. In this way, dentists can see their clientele expand by participating in the plan, offsetting the discounts they offer. Nevertheless, the specific discounts offered will vary depending on the dentist and the procedure.
DentalPlans.com is an online portal aimed at helping you choose and purchase a third-party dental savings plan. You could think of it as the Expedia of dental savings plans: you’ll be able to search and compare similar options easily and deal with a centralized checkout page. However, you’ll still be buying someone else’s product.
What types of dental plans are available?
DentalPlans.com showcases a pretty wide variety of dental plans around the country. In urban areas, a single dentist may be affiliated with up to 15 different plans, making it impossible to provide you with a comprehensive list of them. What we can do, however, is give you a quick overview of the top featured companies and the most popular types of plans.
The top healthcare providers available at DentalPlans.com are Cigna, Aetna, and Humana Dental.
Cigna Health Services is one of the leading giants in the healthcare industry in the United States. They provide medical, dental, disability, life, and accident insurance.
They also have one of the largest preferred provider networks across the country. A dental savings plan with Cigna starts at $125 per year for an individual plan or $179 for a family plan.
Aetna is an American insurance leader with a stronger focus on health services than its competitors. They offer medical, dental, and vision plans, and their benefits and staff all tailor to this niche.
Savings plans with Aetna start at $124 for an individual plan or $180 for a family plan.
Humana Dental is a subsidiary of Humana Health, a Kentucky-based healthcare company. This group offers a wide array of medical insurance options. They also manage part of the United States Military Health System.
Humana’s dental savings plans start at $124 for an individual plan or $199 for a family plan
Many healthcare companies offer the possibility of bundling up dental savings plans with other membership-based discount schemes. Bundle plans are an excellent way to access discounts on other specialties without waiting for insurance approvals or refunds.
At DentalPlans.com, the main focus is on dental care. However, some of its high-end plans also offer access to the following perks:
- Prescription Plans let you access 10% to 60% discounts when filling your prescription in participating pharmacies.
- Vision Savings Plans are commonly bundled with dental savings plans, as they work in pretty much the same manner. A vision savings plan lets you access discounted eye checkups, LASIK surgeries, and deep discounts when buying lenses or eyeglasses in participating eye stores.
- Hearing Savings Plans work similarly to dental plans, but they are rarely standalone options. Most focus on providing discounts when buying or maintaining hearing aids.
- Telemedicine Programs allow you to have a virtual consultation with a general practitioner, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner for minor emergencies or non-deadly ailments. Some of these programs also include remote prescriptions or referrals.
- Plans that include prescription, vision, or hearing savings start at $155 (individual) to $200 (family) per year. Plans that include telemedicine usually start at $180 (individual) or $210 (family) per year, but they’re not available in Vermont, Washington, or California.
DentalPlans.com is remarkably easy to use, although the multitude of offers can make it a bit difficult to make a final decision.
Step 1: Search
The easiest way to find available plans in your area is to search by location. If you don’t have a dentist yet, simply add your zip code and click on “Search Plans.” The results page will show you all dentists with participating plans in or immediately around your zip code. If you already have a dentist, you can check to see if they are affiliated with any specific plans. Just use the “Search Dentists” button, find your preferred professional, and check which plans they accept.
You can further refine search results by company, type (individual or family), or extra benefits (such as telemedicine access, chiropractor discounts, or vision savings plans).
Step 2: Research and compare
For each plan that meets your criteria, DentalPlans.com will show you the providing company, annual price, and an “earliest activation date.” If you click on “Show Plan,” you’ll see a list of available discounts by category or procedure code. Finally, the site will show you a comparison between sample prices for each procedure, with and without the plan’s discounts.
Keep in mind that while the discount percentages are specific to each plan, the reference prices are based on national averages. For instance, your favorite dentist may charge a different rate than the average $52 for a routine yearly check-up.
The Comparison option allows you to check out the specific perks and limitations between similar plans. Just click on the “Compare” box on all your runner-ups to access a side-by-side comparison.
Step 3: Purchase
After you’ve made a selection, click on “Join Individual Plan” to add it to your cart. You can join more than one plan at once. On the checkout page, you will set up your account.
DentalPlans.com takes all major credit cards, as well as PayPal and ACH money transfers. If you choose the latter option, you may have to wait up to 48 hours for your payment to go through. As soon as it does, you’ll be able to print your membership card.
DentalPlans.com doesn’t take HSA or FSA debit cards as a form of payment.
It may take a couple of extra days for your plan to fully kick into action (this is the “earliest activation date” from step 2). This wait is never more than five days from the time of purchase, and it can be as soon as the next day.
Step 4: Get dental care
Once your plan is activated, you’ll simply present your membership card at your participating dentist when it’s time to settle the bill. DentalPlans.com is currently not sending physical plastic cards to its subscribers, due to COVID-19 shipping delays, but will likely resume in the future.
Instead, you can print the card at home or even download it to your phone and show it to the receptionist who will then know to adjust the rates accordingly.
As a healthcare company, DentalPlans.com plays in a well-regulated field when it comes to privacy and confidentiality. After you open an account with the company, it will keep some of your identifying information on record. Your mailing address, email, phone number, and full name will be tied to your account and any plan you purchase through the site.
DentalPlans.com offers its clients the possibility to receive automated SMS alerts and an email newsletter. You will have to opt in for this when registering and can opt out if you change your mind.
All your payment and credit card information is encrypted during the checkout process. The company does not store your card’s security number on their server.
DentalPlans.com clarifies that it is not an insurance company and that dental savings plans are different from health insurance. You also can’t use your membership with any discount plan to fulfill the Affordable Care Act’s mandatory insurance requirements.
Unlike health or dental insurance, dental savings plans don’t have any yearly or lifetime coverage caps. Thus, many people choose to use them to lower their total bill after they have crossed these caps. However, it is essential to note that you can’t use a dental savings plan and your insurance for the same procedure or visit. This means that you won’t be able to use the membership discounts to lower your deductible further.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For health-related products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) and product(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service and/or product high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?
User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?
Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?