Many people think that they need dental insurance to get dental care, but that’s not true at all. In fact, for most people, dental care is actually cheaper without insurance. We know it might be hard to believe, but it’s the truth, and if you think about it, it actually makes sense.
Don’t let a lack of insurance keep you from getting dental care. It might actually be a bargain, and even high-cost care can be managed thanks to convenient financing.
An ADA Study
Dental insurance is supposed to save people money. But when the American Dental Association (ADA) looked at the actual costs for people with and without dental insurance, they came to a surprising conclusion: most Americans with insurance paid more for dental care than they would pay if they just paid for the care themselves.
Here’s how the ADA broke it down in terms of age and spending groups for the actual cost of dental care in a year if people paid without insurance. People age 19-34 paid an average of $323 without insurance, but an average of $453 with insurance. People age 35-49 would pay an average of $399 without insurance, but $476 with insurance. And people age 50-64 would pay an average of $523 without insurance and an average of $520 with insurance. That’s right: on average people under age 50 would pay less for dental care without insurance than they would with insurance. And for people age 50-64, the average cost is about the same.
Why Insurance Isn’t Such a Great Deal
If you think about it, though, it actually makes sense that dental care would cost more with insurance than without. After all, dental insurance companies are in the business to make money. They do have to pay their CEOs hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention their stockholders. And that money has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is usually the pockets of policyholders.
People normally get insurance not for the routine care, but to help cover the extreme costs of major health problems. But when it comes to dental insurance, that isn’t the case. Dental insurance is full of loopholes and restrictions that keep a dental insurance company from paying when you have a serious dental health need. Dental insurance usually won’t cover dental implants, and its coverage for relatively common restorative dentistry procedures like dental crowns is usually limited.
Work Directly with a Dentist for Better Costs and Terms
So even though you might think that dental care is going to be expensive without insurance, the opposite is true. You can actually save money by working directly with your dentist instead of paying an insurance company every month for coverage that cuts out when you really need it.
And if you work directly with your dentist, you’ll also find that good financing options can make it easy to fit dental care into your budget.