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Discount Dental Plans
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What Makes Careington Different from Traditional Dental Insurance?
Careington distinguishes itself in dental benefits by offering an alternative to traditional insurance. Instead of paying a monthly premium for coverage as well as a deductible, Careington members only pay an inexpensive fee once a year that entitles them to access a provider network where the dentists have agreed to charge reduced rates for covered services. Careington’s discount model is not insurance but rather a dental savings plan, and has several features that distinguish it from a variety of traditional dental insurance and indemnity plans:
- Unlike most dental insurance plans, Careington members do not have a monetary limit on covered dental services
- Members can use dental services as often as they choose
- Discounts do not have restrictions based on the number of times they are used
- Careington members do not have to file claim forms for reimbursement like indemnity plans
- Careington members do not have waiting periods that delay the coverage of more expensive dental care on many dental PPO plans
A Growing Market
Dental savings plans like the one offered by Careington have been growing in market share across the country. By 2016, nearly 8 million Americans were using dental discount plans. Unlike dental PPO plans (the most common form of dental insurance), dental discount plans do not cover dental treatment obtained outside of the plan's network. Savings are only available from participating dentists. In this way, the network of the discount plan is comparable to the provider network of a dental HMO plan. Additionally, a discount plan's savings represent a percentage reduction of the total cost of a dental procedure. The remainder is paid by the member. This out-of-pocket responsibility is similar to traditional dental plans where a coinsurance fee is charged for a covered service. However, traditional dental insurance may cover all the costs of some preventive care (routine exams and teeth cleanings) while members of a discount plan will still pay a percentage of those costs out-of-pocket.
Outside of this preventive care, traditional dental insurance not only has the enrollee pay out-of-pocket costs for covered services but also caps the total spending the insurer will put toward dental care annually. In contrast, a discount dental plan such as the ones offered by Careington lack such a cap.
- Dental services provided by Careington network dentists can be used as often as desired
- There are no annual limit on dental savings
- There are no approval forms or claim forms to be completed by members as is the case for some other dental plans
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More From DentalInsurance.com...
Dental coverage that is based on a reduced rate on dental services within a narrow network of dentists is known by a variety of names including:
- Dental discount plan
- Dental savings plan
- Discount dental plan
- Dental discount card
- Discount dental program
If you are unfamiliar with this type of coverage and how it differs from traditional dental insurance, see our article Discount Dental Plans. The article reviews the services often covered within discount dental programs, the way members save money on dental care, and how the program is distinguished from an insurance plan.