Avia Dental Insurance
The Avia Dental Plan is a fee for service plan, providing its members with considerable discounts on dental services. Avia has a large network of established dental practices that members can choose from, with these dentists offering discounts that at times exceed 50%. The service providers go through a credentialing process, meeting high quality standards to become a part of the Avia network. Membership in the dental plan also includes savings on Vision Care and Prescription Drugs. Since 1994, Avia has delivered access to high quality dental care at great savings to its members.
The plan is available in 21 states, including many major urban areas. If you are interested in Avia, the first step of course is to check online to see if coverage is available in your state. Those who travel extensively should also check if care is available in their primary destination areas.
Dental Plan vs. Dental Insurance
It's important to understand that Avia Dental is not dental insurance. It is a fee for service dental plan. You pay your dentist at the time of service at a discounted rate. Traditional dental insurance costs significantly more per month. Typically, you pay for a portion of dental services with dental insurance, and the policy covers the rest. There are dollar amount limits with insurance per year, deductibles to meet before service kicks in and begins to pay, and limits on services covered. Dental insurance is great if your employer pays for it, but otherwise it can really add up.
Avia Dental Plan Monthly Costs
The Avia Dental Plan starts at $8.25 per month for individuals, or $99.00 per year. It's $144 per year for an individual plus one, and $159 per year for a family of three or more. There is also a one-time processing fee of $20 at sign up. Seniors get a discount from these prices. Employers are able to take advantage of group plan rates, and offer Avia Dental to employees as an optional monthly payroll deduction at no cost to the employer.
The dental plan kicks in right away as soon as Avia receives your application and payment. At sign up, you'll be charges the first two monthly payments and the one-time $20.00 sign-up fee. Then you can save up to 50% and more on your dental visits, and enjoy prescription and vision discounts. Everyone is accepted. There are no limits on visits. The Avia network includes over 40,000 dental providers.
Fees for Dental Services
Avia claims to offer some of the lowest dental fees in the country, while maintaining a high level of quality care.
The Avia dental fee schedule is published at their website. It's an extensive list of dental procedures showing national average fees, compared to what Avia members pay. For example, they list the national average price for a comprehensive oral exam at $100, and the Avia fee as $18. A porcelain crown that costs $1,270 on average is much cheaper with the Avia plan, at only $545. The list also states that you can visit the orthodontist at a 20% discount with Avia membership. It's important for members to confirm prices with each network dentist prior to service.
Avia also covers X-rays, root canals and fillings at discounts ranging up to 50 percent.
Get the Most from Avia Membership
Avia members should take steps to insure that that they are visiting a quality dentist, and that they get the price listed on the Avia schedule. Before purchasing the plan, check whether there are good dentists in the Avia network available in your area. Avia has an online tool to search for dentists in their network. Read independent consumer reviews of the local Avia network dentists. Most consumer complaints about dental plans such as Avia come from people complaining about the specific dentist, not the price.
When you make an appointment with a network dentist, confirm that they accept Avia members, as well as the price for the service or procedure you need. When you go to the dentist, bring your membership card with you. Also bring a copy of the Avia dental fee schedule and confirm the price prior to service.
Who Benefits from Avia Dental?
As employment continues to evolve, fewer people have traditional full time jobs providing dental insurance coverage. Individuals can compare the cost of Avia Dental at less than $10 per month with dental insurance that costs around $40 per month and up.
A discount dental plan like Avia is great for a family without employer provided dental insurance. The yearly membership is a good value, and then it's on to quality care for the family at discounted rates. The Avia Dental Plan is also a good choice for those on limited or fixed budgets such as seniors and students.
Keep in mind that you pay the discount fee at the time of service. There are no annual limits on dental visits. There is no waiting for approval for major services such as oral surgery, root canals or crowns, you simply locate a network provider you have faith in, confirm the discount price and make your appointment. You can change providers any time you want.
Those who want to end their membership should keep their eye on their account, as it will auto-renew if you do nothing. You must request cancellation prior to your last month, and return your physical discount card to them.
With the Avia Dental Plan, you also get prescription savings at 59,000 pharmacies including Walmart and CVS. Vision discounts include exams, lenses, frames, and contacts at Sears Optical, Pearle Vision, LenCrafters, Target Optical and more. The vision services discounts are up to 15%.
You can access Avia customer service via phone, and they have a FAQ page, but it's not extensive. At their website, Avia states customer service as their top priority for both customers and dental providers in their network, via personal attention to every call and inquiry.
Verdict - Great
Avia Dental Plan delivers on its promise of quality dental care at discounted rates. It's a great choice for families in particular who are looking to save on the overall cost of dental services, and it's worth a close look for individuals, students and seniors as well. The plan's biggest problem is that it's only available in 21 states. If you do not live in one of those states, take a look at competing Dental Plan Careington.
Before purchasing Avia, check to see if they have network dentists in your area, including consumer reviews of these providers, as you want to be sure you can visit a great dentist.