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7 Ways to Save on Dental Insurance

By — One of many Budget blogs on

With the advent of Obamacare, many Americans are finding themselves forced to pay for dental insurance—particularly freelancers and small business owners. However, dental insurance can be costly, especially for those who want quality dental coverage. With 2015 just around the corner, now is the time to start comparison shopping for dental policies.

However, there are seven “tricks” to affording dental insurance that can maximize your savings no mater what insurance policy you have. Here’s how to get started, keeping more of your hard-earned cash for yourself:

1. Maximize your flex spending

Do you have a health savings plan or flexible spending account? If so, December is the last month to make use of them before they get lost in 2015. Work with your provider to figure out the best moves to make and how to optimize your spending. This is one time when you really do lose it if you don’t use it.

2. Work with your dentist

You might not be able to negotiate with your insurance company, but reputable dentists are often willing to work with you. Payment plans, spacing out procedures (when it won’t impact your results) and even communicating with insurance companies on your behalf may all be possible. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

3. Deduct your premiums if you’re self-employed

If you’re a freelancer or own your own business, you can deduct all of your healthcare premiums each year. This is one of the biggest ways to save money, and many entrepreneurs miss it. You may also be able to deduct co-pays and other health-related expenses. Work with a CPA to make the most of your deductions.

4. Take care of your teeth

You might think you’re saving money if you skip your checkup, but that’s a big mistake. The better care you take of your teeth, including preventative maintenance and checkups, the less likely you are to need a serious procedure down the road. Like the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and  the cost of a cleaning is much more affordable than that of a root canal.

5. Check with trade associations or your alma mater

Your connections might help you score a great deal on a policy, or get in on a group policy for lower rates. Make use of all your networks, like your alumni or trade association, and don’t be shy about asking about discounts or benefits. They’re yours for the taking.

6. Check out dental schools

If you really can’t afford a procedure you need, try connecting with a local dental school. Many times, dentists to be need to practice on real patients and they’re closely supervised by their professors. Often, these procedures are free or extremely low cost (you’ll basically paying for the supplies).

7. Consider “boutique” policies

This can include co-ops or other lesser known insurance companies. The most well known companies don’t necessarily provide the best coverage or lowest rates. Treat them all equally when you comparison shop and you might be surprised by what you uncover.

Dental insurance is a pain, but caring for your teeth is crucial. Dental health is connected to overall health, and it’s not worth skimping on just to save a few dollars.

Sara Thompson is a lifestyle and health blogger in Vancouver, Washington. This article was written in partnership with Sheron Dental. Visit 

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