SOURCE: :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans

June 26, 2015 07:00 ET

Got Dental Benefits? SmileIndex™ Study by :DentalPlans

What Some People Are Doing as an Alternative to Dental Insurance to Combat Rising Health Insurance Rates

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - June 26, 2015) - A healthy smile: mouth, gums and teeth, are essential to our well-being and something we take for granted. Poor oral health not only leads to dental cavities and gum disease, but is a key contributor to a host of other diseases, including diabetes, inflammation that can lead to heart disease, and much more.

Through our mouths we speak, breathe, eat, express emotions and have the ability to establish connections to others. But unfortunately, good oral health is now segmented as a luxury that the average American cannot afford. It has been re-classified as an optional benefit for adults, according to the Affordable Care Act.

According to the :DP SmileIndex™ study by :DentalPlans, a leader in dental savings plans, 58 percent of consumers did not have dental coverage because it was not affordable. And 50 percent of the respondents were not aware that an alternative exists. A concurrent study, the Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2014 by the Federal Reserve, reports this same issue and further indicates that over two-thirds of families with household incomes under $40,000 could not afford $400 for a health emergency.

As 2016 approaches, insurance companies are beginning to calculate health insurance rates for next year. Across the board, many insurance companies are requesting rate increases. Although final rates won't be posted until November 1, proposed rates are viewable via HealthCare.gov. While average rate increases look to be between ten and twenty percent for most states, some increases may be as high as 53 percent or more. This is bad news for Americans who already forego dental insurance due to the high cost of mandatory health insurance.

But some consumers have turned to a dental savings plan and it can be a health-saver. For a one-time, low annual fee, members of dental savings plans gain access to reduced fees at participating dentists' offices for a variety of dental care, including orthodontia and cosmetic procedures. Companies can even offer their employees the affordable option of dental savings plans.

"Cost is the biggest reason people delay getting the dental care they need," states Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans. "And we know that putting off these procedures will lead to even more costly dental work, or worse, if not taken care of. Dental plans are a great alternative for people who cannot afford traditional dental insurance on top of their health insurance premiums."

Joining a dental savings plan may also increase the likelihood of regular visits to the dentist. The :DP SmileIndex™ also revealed that 85 percent of :DentalPlans customers are more likely to have seen a dentist within the past six months when compared to 55 percent of the general population. They are also more likely to keep up with regular maintenance, especially annual X-rays (80 percent vs. 63 percent).

*A national study was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 1,200 national respondents were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- 2.83%.

An independent study of its members was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 21 and Feb. 4, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 9,410 national customers were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- .99%.

About :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, resources and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives. Our independent research -- the :DP SmileMeter™ and :DP SmileIndex™ -- provides a unique look into the consumer healthcare market. We offer user-friendly access to dental and health plans, online comparison tools to help consumers save on their health care costs, and our :DP AtYourService™ support team that leaves no question unanswered. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

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