People usually have to go shopping for an insurance plans with dental benefits that suit their needs, because dental coverage is usually not available to people who receive insurance from their employer. The reason dental benefits are not offered on these conventional plans is that it is not worth it for an insurance company to cover procedures for which the cost will exceed the premiums. Since dental care, especially orthodonistry, is usually quite expensive, most basic insurance plans cannot afford to offer dental benefits.
Public employees, however, usually are covered by insurance plans that offer dental benefits, and such perks are often compensation for the relatively low pay federal or state employees receive. These plans usually offer orthodontic treatments, regular exams, X rays and teeth cleanings, including children flouride treatments. For procedures that are not fully covered, dental benefits are offered in the form of discounts.
If your employer does not offer dental benefits as part of the company insurance plans, you have several options open. You can join a referral plan which is like a price club of participating dentist who are willing to offer their services for lower fees in exchange for receiving more clients through the club. These referral clubs usually offer substantial discounts for services at low premiums, and payments are made directly to the dentists or ortodontists. As with any plan offering dental benefits, be sure to read the fine print and details about exclusions and limitations on certain procedures or services.
One major drawback to referral plans providing discounts on medical benefits compared to regular insurance is that consumers are encouraged to be penny wise and pound foolish. Since they are paying out of pocket, they might opt for the least expensive dentists or try to save money on necessary procedures by, for instance, opting for a cheaper procedure such as a cap on a tooth when a crown is needed. The consumer should know that cutting corners on such necessary procedures will only lead to a more complicated and usually more expensive correction of the problem down the road.