You can find help with paying for dental bills by taking advantage of programs offered by the federal government, your state, insurance companies, and other independent organization and charities. Unfortunately the number of resources and programs that provide assistance with dental bills is not as extensive as those for health care needs, patients still do have options available to them.
If your current employer doesn't provide dental insurance, if they offer you limited coverage or if they don’t offer the type of dental benefits that you need, then there are many independent dental insurance companies and others that can provide coverage. You need to consider purchasing an individual insurance policy. Like your standard health insurance plans, typical dental coverage options include preferred provider organizations, traditional indemnity plans, and also health maintenance organizations.
For those individuals and families who need frequent dental care, an HMO insurance plan might be the best option. This is a fairly common selection made by patients and they can usually be acquired for a reasonable monthly cost. They can be a great option for you because that type of dental insurance plan offers the lowest bills, has minimal out-of-pocket costs and typically no annual maximum for preventive care services.
One of the downsides to a HMO is that the number of health care providers and dentists in HMO networks tend to be small. Members may have to choose among a limited number of dental insurance providers. If you have an upcoming need for a dental service then you should try to make sure that those future services, such as certain type of filling or even just your regular cleanings by a favorite hygienist or dentist, are covered by the insurance plan. Review the details of the plans closely to determine what will be paid for and who is part of the network before settling on any dental insurance plan.
For those individuals who can't obtain private dental insurance on their own or from their employer, you may face a more difficult battle in trying to pay for and contain dental bills. Some medical providers and dentists belong to discount dental programs and have agreed to charge those plans' members a reduced amount on their bills and lower fees. The Web site DentalPlans.com has a list of more than 30 such dental discount programs charging annual fees of $80 to $190 for families and individuals. Members in these plans will get 10% to 60% off the typical cost of any dental care provided at thousands of participating dental providers.
Another option to save on and get help with dental bills is Medicaid, Medicare, state assistance programs, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program. However this type of dental insurance coverage varies by each state. There will also be several qualifications that need to be met by anyone applying for these government benefits.
In general, the low-income programs SCHIP, Medicaid, and Medicare programs only cover dental services that are crucial to another covered treatment, such as jaw reconstruction after an accident or other critical operations. So what they will pay for tends to be more limited.
Yet another option can be to go to a local dental school for reduced-cost dental treatment. The care will be delivered to patients by supervised dental students and the school.
There are many federally qualified dental health centers, which serve people regardless of their insurance status or income. These health centers and clinics will also offer dental care and price it based on a patient's ability to pay.
In addition, many state as well as local government health departments, and various charities such as the United Way, offer information on low cost and free dental care. If there are not any resources in your community, then the staff at these agencies may offer individuals other ways to get help with paying for their dental bills.
There are also state specific programs. For example, find how to get reduced fee or free dental care in Ohio. Click here.
Some non-profit organizations coordinate the services of volunteers dentists, medical professionals, hygienists and others to provide free or reduce priced dental care. Each and every year tens of thousands of people receive assistance from these organizations. The terms of each one of these programs will be different. There may be some amounts of limited financial assistance to pay for the care you need, or they can refer patients to government or non-profit programs. Read more.
Still other options to explore are low cost dental bill financing. For example, CareCredit, offers a credit card that is accepted by more than 75,000 health and dental providers. The company, which is owned by General Electric, allows no-interest repayment for three to 18 months on balances of $300 or more, as long as the individual continues to pay the minimum monthly payments. So you can save a significant amount of money on interest expense, thus saving on your overall dental bills. Always be sure to carefully read the terms of any potential financing deal before you enter into this type of agreement.