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      October 18, 2019

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eHealth vs Avia Dental

Best Dental Insurance Plans

To help you find the Best Dental Insurance Plans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of eHealth and Avia Dental.

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Where can you get the best dental insurance? If you're one of the 74 million Americans who aren't covered by an employer or government plan, chances are you've asked yourself that question recently. One big reason people avoid dental insurance is because those plans can be expensive.

The price for dental insurance can vary depending on where you live, but it's not uncommon for a basic cleaning to cost $100 - and that doesn't include the x-rays, the exam, or the cost of any repair work or fillings the dentist discovers during your visit. Fortunately, you can purchase your own coverage.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2019

Dental Insurance Reviews

3 stars
eHealth

E HEALTH Visit Site

Cost:

Plans start at $8/month

Benefits:

Site includes many types of insurance beyond dental (such as vision, accident, illness)

Help is available via toll-free number from licensed insurance agents

Plans:

Dental Insurance

eHealth, also known as eHealthInsurance, was founded in 1997 and was responsible for the very first internet-based sale of an insurance policy just a year later. The company was created with the mission to make it possible for individuals and families without insurance coverage to find what they needed easily and affordably. This site could be a good resource if you need one-stop shopping for a wide variety of insurance products, from health/dental/vision coverage to more specialized needs like pet insurance and travel insurance.

eHealth only offers traditional dental insurance plans, not dental discount programs. Although the eHealth site says that plans start at $8 per month, there were no available plans at that price point in our area. The lowest price in our area for a person of our sample demographic was $11.99/month. This is different from the other services in our review: each time we looked up plans in our area on those competitor sites, we were always able to find coverage at the advertised lowest available premium cost.

If you have a target budget or a type of plan (HMO, PPO, etc.) that you prefer, you can use the sort and filter options to narrow down the results. Once you've identified a plan that interests you, click on the details button to learn more: Overview, Primary Benefits, Additional Information, and Details and Documents. You'll also see any available add-ons that may or may not be with the same insurer as the dental plan: Vision coverage, Accident insurance, etc.

Our results list included dental insurance plans with the following carriers:

  • Humana
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Nationwide
  • Ameritas
  • Delta Dental
  • The IHC Group
  • Renaissance Dental

These providers offered plans running the gamut from PPO to HMO and Indemnity, and many of them had annual benefit limits from $1,000 to $3,000 per covered person. One plan, the Multiflex Dental Advantage Plus plan by Nationwide, had a monthly premium of $19.18 and an annual maximum coverage limit of $300; doing the math, that means a subscriber would be paying almost $240 a year for a coverage limit of $300. You'll definitely want to run the numbers in your situation, to make sure the plan you choose is worth the premiums you'll spend.

Using the eHealth site felt confusing and complicated. The service offers a toll-free number Monday-Friday from 9A-7P EST for people who need help, but we would have liked to see a live chat option too. We also didn't see anywhere to check if any of the dental insurance plans had providers in our area. In other words, to see if a plan would be accepted by our preferred dentist or to see if there are any in-network dentists near us, we would have to visit each insurer's site to make the determination. That leaves a lot of room for accidentally selecting the wrong plan (between the eHealth site and the insurers') and not getting accurate information about the dentists in our area.

eHealth has a good reputation and we like that they offer licensed insurance agents to help with a broad range of coverage products. But, if you're also looking to comparison shop for dental discount plans or you're not comfortable doing some legwork on your own to find out which plans have dentists nearby in their network, this might not be your favorite source of dental insurance plans.

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2.5 stars
Avia Dental

AVIA DENTAL Visit Site

Cost:

Plans start at $8.25/month or $99/year

$20 processing fee at time of registration

Benefits:

Prescription and Vision discounts included

Acceptance guaranteed

More than 40,000 dental providers

Annual and monthly payment options

Plans:

Discount Dental Plans

Avia Dental Plan has been in business since 1994 and is committed to helping individuals, families, and groups of any size to save money on dental care.

This service works as a discount dental plan and also includes discounts for prescriptions and vision expenses. You can expect to pay $8.25 per month or $99 per year for an individual, $12 per month or $144 per year for two people, and $13.25 per month or $159 per year for a family of 3 or more. All plans include a one-time $20 processing fee.

Avia has one of the lowest fee schedules on the market. This means that you will spend less money for your typical dental services. For example, Avia members will only pay $15 for a periodic oral exam, instead of the $50+ that most dentists charge for cash patients. An adult cleaning is only $35, and a children's cleaning and fluoride treatment costs $46. That could save you a lot of money for your routine care.

If you need something more involved like a root canal, you'll get even bigger savings as an Avia member. A molar root canal can easily cost upwards of $1100 if you're paying out of pocket, but with the Avia discount dental plan you'll only spend $490. That savings would easily pay for your membership with just one procedure.

We had some issues navigating the site. Specifically, when we tried to search for dental plans in our area by zip code, we were taken to a third-party site and told that our IP address disqualified us from their offer. We spoke with a very friendly Avia representative who said that it was a known issue and who walked us through a better route to get the information we needed (click on your state on the map, then click on the blue Sign Up Now button on the right side. Select your state in the dropdown box, and then scroll down past the sign up form to see detailed information about their discount plans in your state).

Unfortunately, despite having more than 40,000 dental providers who accept Avia dental plans, this provider doesn't offer coverage in a long list of states, which may include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

And, in our major metro area, there were only a few practices that came up as part of Avia's network of dentists. Those offices have a reputation of low-quality service, recommending unnecessary procedures, and not practicing a high standard of care with their patients. None of the dentists with a great reputation in our area were in Avia's network.

For that reason alone, Avia ranks at the bottom of the providers of dental insurance and savings plans in our review: there are just too many prospective customers who won't find what they need on this site, just because of where they live. And, even if Avia is available in your area and seems to be a good way to save money, you'll need to be sure that there's actually a dentist you trust that accepts their plans - otherwise you might wind up with subpar dental care that costs you more in the long run. We recommend that you consider the higher-ranked dental insurance and discount plans in our review.

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Continued from above

When it comes to Dental Insurance, you have two main options: traditional dental insurance or discount dental plans. With dental insurance, it works as you'd imagine you pay a monthly premium, and you may or may not have an annual deductible.

On the other hand, discount dental plans give you access to savings on dental services and are often valid for use from the day you pay for coverage. Many of these dental savings plans have options for further discounts on vision, hearing, prescriptions, and even telemedicine services.

So, what's the advantage of using one over the other? It really depends on what you're looking for. Many people like the security of a traditional dental insurance policy, because they're already familiar with how they work. However, a growing number of consumers are opting for discount dental plans: even though you have to pay at the time of service, the amount you save compared with paying 100% out of pocket can be significant.

No matter which type of dental coverage you need, what should you consider as you choose the right provider and plan for you or your family? Here are several criteria to keep in mind:

  • Type of Plans Available. If you already know you want a discount dental plan or traditional dental insurance, does the site offer it? How many providers are included? Can you choose from a wide range of plans, premium levels, and options?
  • Pricing. What will you pay for your coverage? Do you have the option to pay monthly or annually as you prefer? Will the dental insurance or discount plan save you enough money to justify the premiums and any enrollment fees?
  • Reputation. What do others have to say about their experience using the service and/or the plans provided? Is the company rated by the Better Business Bureau?
  • Support. Many dental insurance websites have licensed agents available to help you with your decision, assist you in completing the enrollment, and so on. How easy is it to get help if you need it?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Dental Insurance and discount dental plans available today. We hope this information helps you find the best coverage for a healthy smile at the right price!

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