Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

share your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Discount Dental Plans Are Something to Smile About

They're an alternative to dental insurance

What discount plans offer

Dental discount plans differ in several ways from dental insurance plans:

• Discount plans generally cost less than traditional dental insurance.

• You have to pay for the service in full, or negotiate a payment plan with the provider. And "you are not going to get a reimbursement for any portion of the procedures that they have done," says Ireland.

• There is no claim paperwork to fill out, since there is no reimbursement.

• There are generally no restrictions on how many procedures you can get at a discounted price in a given year. Insurance, however, typically limits coverage to about $1,200 to $1,500 annually.

• Discount plans generally run for one year, so you can switch plans as your needs change. If you have a dentist already, you should ask whether he or she will accept the plan. Otherwise, you'll need to find a provider who does.

• A number of discount dental plans include elective services, which are often not covered by insurance plans. Cosmetic dentistry, for example, is almost always excluded by insurance, but cosmetic procedures like tooth whitening are included in many discount plans' schedules of services.

• Discount plans may throw in freebies. "Many come packaged with vision plans, hearing plans or chiropractic plans," says Johnson.

For Tabbi, the advantages of the dental plan are big, so big that she is leading seminars in senior housing centers in her town for others who want a less-costly way to take care of their teeth. The greatest thing about belonging to a discount dental plan, she explains, has been having access to a fee schedule so she knows what every procedure will cost. "There are no surprises," she says.

Tamara E. Holmes is a Maryland-based journalist who writes about health, wealth and careers.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do