Understanding dental plansOrthodontic care and dental insurance
Dental discount plans are membership plans similar to those for grocery stores or wholesale clubs. But instead of bargains on steaks and TVs, you get discounted prices on dental services.
Let’s take a closer look at how they work, how they compare to traditional dental insurance and more.
How do dental discount plans work?
Dental discount plans are annual membership programs. You pay 1 fee up front when you buy the plan, or split the annual fee into monthly installments, then pay out of pocket for the discounted dental services you get throughout the year.
Here’s how a discount dental plan typically works:
- You shop plans based on your needs, like types of treatments covered, individual vs. family coverage, etc.
- After you find the best plan for your needs, you purchase the plan by paying the annual fee (typically around $150).1
- Once your plan is active, you can schedule appointments with dentists in the plan’s network.
- At your appointments, let them know you have a discount plan and they’ll charge you at the discounted rate.
- Pay out of pocket for the discounted dental services.
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Dental discount plans vs. traditional dental insurance
With traditional dental insurance, preventive services like cleanings and exams are typically 100% covered. Other services like fillings, root canals and crowns are usually partially covered (20%–50%) depending on the plan you choose. A dental savings plan may offer discounts or pay a percentage for certain services, but it won’t cover 100% of the cost of any procedure.
Another good topic to compare is an annual benefit limit. Nearly all traditional dental insurance plans have annual limits—a cap on how much it’ll pay for your dental care in a year. Most dental discount plans don’t have annual limits, so you can get dental services all year long and pay the discounted rates every time.
Yes, $20–$50/month for an individual and $50–$150/month for a family2
Membership fees (annual fee)
Yes, typically around $1503
Depends on plan, typically yes
Depends on plan, typically yes
Depends on plan
Annual benefit limit
Pay dentist directly
Would you benefit from a dental discount program?
If you fall into 1 of these categories, a dental discount plan could make sense for you:
- You need very little dental work. If your mouth is healthy and you only need routine cleanings twice a year, you may save money with a discount plan.
- You need more dental work than your insurance plan will cover. Most dental insurance plans have a limit they’ll pay for dental care for 1 year. If you plan on getting extra dental care, you could join a discount dental plan in addition to your dental insurance to help cover those extra costs.
- You have health issues that can be complicated by dental problems. People with certain health conditions may need to be especially careful with their dental care. For example, untreated gum disease can worsen health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. If you don’t have dental insurance, a discount plan may be better than no coverage at all.4
- You’re 65 or older. Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care.5 If you’re 65 or older and have Medicare but no dental insurance, a discount dental plan for seniors may be a good idea.
Note: If you need help making a decision, talk to a licensed insurance agent about which plan type would work best for your needs.
Frequently asked questions about dental discount plans
You can have both dental insurance and a dental savings plan, but you cannot use them both for the same procedure. However, some dentists may let you use a dental discount plan to reduce your out-of-pocket costs after you’ve reached the annual maximum limit on your dental insurance.
It can depend on the plan provider, but most discount dental plans have no waiting period. For example, discount dental plans from Humana have no waiting period, so you can start saving on dental care right away.
Understanding dental plansSupplemental dental insurance
Understanding dental plansPreferred provider organization (PPO) dental insurance from Humana
Individual and family dental insurance plans
From budget-friendly monthly premiums to low office-visit copays, Humana has a dental plan that is sure to fit your needs.
View plans and prices available in your area
- “Best Dental Savings Plan 2023: Review of Top Dental Discount Plans,” Dentaly.org, last accessed April 18, 2023,
- “What’s the difference between dental insurance and dental discount plans?,” healthinsurance.org, last accessed April 18, 2023,
- “Best Dental Savings Plan 2023: Review of Top Dental Discount Plans.”
- “Periodontal Disease: A Risk Factor for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease,” National Library of Medicine, last accessed April 18, 2023,
- “Dental services,” Medicare.gov, last accessed April 18, 2023,