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Find help paying your dental bills.

You can find help with paying for dental bills by taking advantage of programs offered by the federal government, your state, insurance companies, as well as other independent organization and charities. Unfortunately the number of resources and programs that provide financial assistance with dental costs is not as extensive as those for other more general health care needs. However patients still do have options available to them.

Insurance plans for dental care

If your current employer doesn't provide dental insurance for the work you need done, if they offer you limited coverage or if they don’t offer the type of benefits that you need, then there are many independent dental insurance companies and other companies that can provide coverage for any dental work. The range of options is extensive, and some or inexpensive and others are much more costly. Both national as well as regional insurance companies can offer this type of coverage.

The first option is that you need to consider purchasing an individual insurance policy, and there are many to choose from. Like your standard health insurance plans, typical dental coverage options include preferred provider organizations, traditional indemnity plans, and also health maintenance organizations. This can often be used in combination with other benefits from an employer or even the government, such as Medicaid. They will normally help the patient pay the bill as the coverage will address a portion of the cost.

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 to choose from in these networks tend to be small. Members may have to choose among a limited number of dental insurance providers. They may not always be the provider that someone currently has or would normally choose.




If you have an upcoming need for dental work then you should try to make sure that those future services, such as certain type of filling, root canal 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 bill will be paid for and who is part of the network before settling on any dental insurance plan.

Discount dental programs

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 any upcoming dental bills. But there are still options available, including payment plans, negotiated settlements, and debt reduction.

Some medical providers and dentists belong to discount dental programs. As part of this they have agreed to charge those plans' members a reduced amount on their bills and also give them lower fees. Or they may provide certain types of limited, free services.

The Web site has a list of dozens such dental discount programs. While each of them will vary, they are normally charging annual fees of $80 to $190 for families and individuals. There are plans focused on seniors, to assist them with their bills as well as programs for the poor, families in poverty, and others. Members in these plans will get 10% to 60% off the typical cost of any dental care provided at thousands of participating providers.

Government assistance provides dental bill assistance

Another option to save on as well as to get financial help with dental costs is Medicaid, Medicare, state assistance programs, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Each of them offers their own benefits. 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. Some of them will help pay the bills of a child as well. So what they will pay for tends to be more limited.

Dental school and health centers

Yet another option can be to go to a local dental school for reduced-cost treatment. Any bills charged to the patient will be a fraction of usual rates. The care will be delivered to patients by supervised dental students and the school. Professors are also involved in supervising. Find a list of low cost dental school clinics.

There are many federally qualified dental health centers, which serve people regardless of their insurance status or income. Some services are free, and others will lower the patients bill. These health centers and clinics will also offer dental care at varies rates. The price charged is based on a patient's ability to pay.

In addition, many state as well as local government health departments, various charities such as the United Way, and others 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. All resources, whether from the government, a charity, or a private company, will be assessed.

There are also state specific programs for residents. For example, find how to get reduced fee or free dental care in Ohio. Click here for Ohio Dental OPTIONS program.

Non-profits that provide help with dental care bills

Some non-profit organizations coordinate the services of volunteers dentists, medical professionals, hygienists and others. These various individuals will be provide free or reduce priced dental care to certain qualified low income families. Other clients may be the disabled, retirees, or young children. Each and every year tens of thousands of people receive assistance with their bills 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 free care you need, such as grants or flexible payment plans. Or they can refer patients to government or non-profit programs. Read more on getting free dental care.

Bill payment programs can also be provided by credit counselors, most of which are non-profits. They normally are reactive, it meaning that if the patient is in debt due to past dental bills, the credit counseling agency can provide them with free advice. They can help negotiate a settlement, coordinate a payment plan with the dentist to reduce costs, mediate a solution, and often offer other types of support. Some of this bill paying programs are free (to low income households), and others may have a minimal cost. Find credit and debt counseling agencies that may assist with dental costs.





Financing and loans

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. Some of the dentists offer payment plans on any bills as well. The company, which is owned by General Electric, allows no-interest repayment for three to 18 months on balances of $300 or more. This will be the case as long as the individual continues to pay the minimum monthly payments.

So you can save a significant amount of money on your monthly interest expense, thus saving on your overall dental bills. It also helps a patient build a credit history. Always be sure to carefully read the terms of any potential financing deal before you enter into this type of agreement.

By Jon McNamara

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