SmileNet Dental Discount Program from Anthem Blue Cross:

In April of 2005, Anthem Blue Cross began offering a new dental discount plan for small group members. This plan is an alternative for dental coverage, particularly if the plan your employees&rsquo select does not offer dental benefits. Instead of purchasing additional insurance, this plan may be just what they need.

First, it is very important to understand that the SmileNet program is not an insurance plan. It is a way for your employees&rsquo to save extra money when they visit a dentist, without having to pay for any costly extra coverage. It is a discount plan aimed at employees who do not currently have dental coverage or cannot afford to add a rider to their existing health plan from Anthem Blue Cross.

What Do They Save?

This plan allows your employees the chance to save 15 to 50% on dental services, just as long as the services are provided by dentists that are members of the SmileNet program. In many cases, this discount can exceed traditional dental insurance benefits.

How Many Dentists Are Participating?

Currently, there are over 12,000 dentists who have joined the SmileNet program. This means that your employees&rsquo have a greater change of not only finding a dentist in their area, but they may be able to keep their existing dentist.

Are There Any Restrictions?

Yes, your employees may not be covered by another dental plan offered by Anthem Blue Cross. It is normally offered as a standalone or an alternative to dental coverage, or as supplemental coverage for Medicare. You do not need to have a minimum amount of employees that will join the plan to sign up, and there are no participation requirements. If your company is purchasing a new small group policy from Anthem Blue Cross, and you do not currently offer any dental coverage to your employees, you will also be eligible for this plan. In addition, if your employees are already covered by Medicare, but do not have any other dental coverage, they will also be eligible.

What&rsquos the Deal?

This plan doesn&rsquot require any annual deductible, and there are no maximum benefits. Your employees will be able to continue saving, no matter how many times they need to see a dentist every year. There are no waiting periods for the coverage to begin, which is extremely beneficial. Many dental policies require at least a six-month wait period before all of the coverage will take effect. Your employees will not have to deal with any paperwork or claims under this program. All they need to do is visit one of the 12,000 participating dentists and show them the discount card that is provided once they have signed up. Their savings will be automatic.

How Much Does it Cost?

Coverage in the SmileNet program requires $7 per month in dues for a single member, or $10 per month in dues for an entire family. If you compare this with regular dental insurance premiums, this can present a significant savings. There are no administrative fees under this plan and the rate will be guaranteed for two years after your employees&rsquo sign up. The cost is the same regardless of age or pre-existing dental history.

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