Things are changing in lots of ways in our society, but most of all things are changing with the way in which we are receiving our health insurance. With the passage of Obamacare, our health insurance system has been going through change in an unprecedented way, as many people have received their health coverage through their work.
Employer sponsored group health insurance plans also included dental insurance which was part of the fringe benefit plan, and the employer picked up a portion of the cost, plus the coverage came at a group rate.
Employers are getting out of the group health insurance business because with the new government rules, the extra fines and penalties if a certain number of employees don’t participate just isn’t worth it. Consequently workers are being forced to find their own health insurance, and that includes dental insurance.
The sticker shock of the cost of private dental insurance has caused many people to simply opt out of coverage, leaving a large sector of the population without dental coverage. It is estimated that roughly 45% of the American population currently is without dental care coverage.
The one bright spot in all of this, as far as dental coverage is concerned is the introduction of discount dental plans into the marketplace. Although it is not insurance, it acts like insurance, and in many ways it does a far superior job.
The cost is much less, for with traditional dental insurance, a family of four can spend anywhere from $80 to $200 a month, while a good discount plan runs in the neighborhood of $25 to $40 per month.
Traditional plans will have a waiting period of anywhere from 6 months to a year. Plus traditional dental plans have benefit limits of $1,000 to $1,500 per family member per year. Discount plans offer immediate coverage and there are no limits on maximum benefits.
The way it works is that the consumer and the company offering the discounts share in the cost and the dentist agrees to lower the fees slightly to give an economic edge in order to stimulate business.
The strategy works very will, not only for dentists alone, but for specialists, oral surgeons and orthodontists.
Since many of the economic models in place now are different than those just a year ago, and discount dental is one of them. It is having the effect of bringing people back to the dentist, whereas all of the changes have been driving them away.