Tooth Talk: Discount plans offer alternative

Article Highlights

  • Some dentists, like myself, have decided to take this concept further and offer this type of plan in-house.
  • Dentists who choose to participate are contracted and agree to accept the fee schedule that the plan offers.
  • This is a further continuation on the ins and outs of dental insurance.

Hello again. This is a further continuation on the ins and outs of dental insurance. This week, I’m going to expand the topic further by talking about something that is not dental insurance, per se. Today I would like to talk about dental discount plans. I’m sure you’ve seen them out there. Some are advertised on the Internet, some by direct mail and some even through the warehouse outlets.

These plans are not insurance. There are no claims to submit or forms to file. The people that sign up for these plans pay a monthly or yearly membership fee. Dentists who choose to participate are contracted and agree to accept the fee schedule that the plan offers. Any procedures that are not on the fee schedule are performed at 20 percent off the offices usual and customary fees.

Some dentists, like myself, have decided to take this concept further and offer this type of plan in-house. We feel that we have improved upon it by offering our current patients, as well as prospective patients, a full range of services at reduced fees. We offer people who want to join for a year nominal fees for routine dental treatment, include cleanings and X-rays at no charge and also offer those extras that some of these discount plans are lacking. These fees offer greater savings and give people more options in their choice of care than traditional discount plans. We also find this to be helpful in that there are no surprises, like waiting periods or exclusions. Best of all, you get to keep your same great dentist: me! I hope this discussion have proven helpful. I would ask that you please continue to send me your questions.

Dr. Fred Eck, D.D.S., received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Detroit Mercy and is licensed by the Florida State Board of Dentistry. Send your questions to Marco Dental Care, 950 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 305, Marco Island; call 389-9400; or visit marcodentalcare.com.

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