If you are old enough to be employed in the 1960s, you may remember when your company started providing dental insurance as part of your health benefits package. Like many consumers, you may have thought and may still believe that your medical and dental coverage was similar, but this is not the case. Understanding the differences between these types of insurance can be an essential tool as you continue to seek the highest cost oral care.
General medical concerns versus oral health
To understand why health insurance and dental coverage are different from each other, it is worth thinking about the nature of the problems that each of them treats.
Most of the non-dental medical conditions we encounter cannot be predicted, and they can be considered unsafe or random. Often, their occurrence causes significant and even catastrophic expenses. Look at a numbered hospital bill or receipt that shows how much your insurance is covered when you need an MRI or comprehensive blood test, and understand how quickly health costs can get out of control, as well as the key role insurance coverage plays in many of us from bankruptcy.
Contrast these health problems to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. While oral diseases can be found in people from all walks of life, races and messages, their incidence has decreased significantly in recent years. This positive trend is due, among other things, to water fluoridation in the community, as well as the fact that more people are turning to the dentist regularly for preventive treatment. But unlike many health problems that can disappear unexpectedly, dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease only get worse over time, resulting in extensive and expensive treatment.
How the structure of the dental system is unique
Interestingly, the average expenditure per person for dental care in 2002 was $ 513.06, compared to $ 3,302 per person in the same year she spent on regular medical care.
These data indicate that these systems operate very differently from each other. Technological advances in dentistry have enabled oral therapists to be more efficient and lower their costs. However innovations in standard medicine tend to result in higher costs.
When you visit your dentist, he or she can address most of your needs right in his or her office. In fact, 80% of dentists are general practitioners, with specialists like oral surgeons making up the other 20%.
This is in direct contrast to the medical profession, where specialists make up 80% of the field. In addition, most if not all of the dental care you will ever receive during your life will be on an inpatient basis, whereas a significant portion of general medical care takes place in hospitals or other inpatient settings. Finally, a much lower percentage of dentists are divided into larger groups or partnerships than physicians. All of these factors are integrated in the separation between dentistry and general medicine.
Dental insurance versus health insurance
There is one last factor that sets dental care apart. Since most oral conditions are not life-threatening in nature, you blue can have the luxury of time and choice. You can go online and consult with family and friends or get a second opinion to find the dentist who will best meet your needs.
This time looking for oral treatments can give you a chance to explore beneficial coverage options known as discounted dental plans. These dental insurance alternatives allow the patient to save significantly because large groups of dentists come together and offer quality care at discounted prices. Insurance has come a long way since the 1960s, and getting the coverage that will save you the most money for the best care is one of the best things you can do for yourself.