Dental insurance helps to cover the cost of dental care.
In the UK, dental insurance is much less common than in the USA, as many people rely on the National Health Service for their dental care, while in the USA there is no state-funded health system and fees are consequently considerably higher.
UK dental insurance
Dental insurance is sometimes provided by companies and employers as part of an employee benefits package and individual policies are also available. Dental insurance policies may provide cover for NHS or private dental treatment, but policies differ in terms of the level of cover they provide. Some treatments, such as cosmetic dental treatments, are not covered by the majority of insurers, although there are some policies, which may contribute towards the cost of treatment. If you are shopping around for dental insurance it’s a good idea to compare prices and providers to make sure you get the best deal for your money.
Major UK dental insurance providers include Bupa, Denplan and Dencover.
Benefits of dental insurance include cost saving, particularly if you choose to see a private dentist and better oral health, as policy holders are more likely to visit their dentist on a regular basis.
US dental insurance
In the USA, the health system is very different to the UK. There in no national health service, which is funded by the state and people must pay for the care they receive or claim it back through their health or dental insurance.
Dental fees are a major problem in the USA and millions of people in America do not have dental insurance. As a result of having no insurance, dental treatment is very expensive and a large proportion of Americans avoid going to the dentist as a direct result of cost. According to figures, around 130 million Americans do not have dental insurance. Free dental clinics are held in communities on a regular basis, but the demand for affordable care far outweighs the supply and images of people queuing for hours on end and camping out overnight in terrible weather conditions highlights the gravity of the situation in the USA at the moment.
President Obama has been campaigning for a better, fairer health system since he was running for election the first time around and the Affordable Care Act should make positive changes to the provision of affordable dental care when it comes into play next year.
Major American dental insurance providers include Aetna, UNI-Care, Delta Dental, Aetna Dental Access® and the GE Wellness Plan.
Dental insurance has benefits for patients in both the USA and the UK, but there is much greater need for dental insurance in America. Dental fees are heavily subsidised by the NHS in the UK, with a check-up and routine, band 1 treatments costing just £17.50; in the USA, the cost of a routine check-up is often more than $150, which means that dental fees can really add up if you do not have dental insurance.
This is a guest post by health writer James. Some dental practices offer competitive finance plans. For a great example of this visit the Smile Stylist website.
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