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The National Association of Dental Plans(NADP) has established a series of 8 questions that you should ask any discount dental plan or dental insurance provider prior to making a buying decision.

Questions to Ask Potential Providers

1. Are you licensed to offer this plan in this state? – “This state” of course refers to your state of residence. If their answer is no, move on.

2. Are you registered with the Better Business Bureau? – The Better Business Bureau(BBB) is the first place I look when determining whether a business is trustworthy. Any respectable business should be a member. Searching the BBB site will provide you with information such as where the company operates, contact information, and any complaint that have been placed against them with the BBB. Check out a business.

3. Where are you located and what is your address? – This may seem like a rather straightforward question, and it is, but shady providers will either not provide you with this information or they will direct you to a P.O. box.

4. Can you mail me specifics on the plan before I sign up? – If the answer is no, move on. Think about it. Would any other business expect you to purchase their product or service without first providing you with information to help you make a buying decision? Of course not. Why should purchasing a discount dental plan or dental insurance plan be any different?

5. Do you have a Web site with more information? Lets face it, if you’re a legitimate organization you should have a website. I know there are a few exceptions, but a dental plan or dental insurance organization should have a website that clearly, honestly lays out their plan details, approximate fees, and providers that accept the plan in your area.

6. Can I get a list of providers on the plan? – How in the world would could you be expected to purchase a plan without knowing if dentists in your area accept it? You wouldn’t. So, I’d take this as a good sign that you’re not dealing with a legitimate company and move on.

7. Can I think about it and get back to you next week? – A good company will say “yes” to this question. Why? Well, healthcare decisions are too important to gamble with. Good companies know this. DentalPlans.com, a company I am affiliated with offers customers a 30-day full refund if they aren’t satisfied with their plan. That’s the kind of consumer protection you should be looking for.

8. Is your plan endorsed by or affiliated with a legitimate national organization? The NAPD recalled a recent bogus dental plan organization that claimed to be associated with the “United Dental Association”. Well, there is no such organization. Consider this a red flag and move on.

If you are able to answer these 8 questions and be satisfied with your answers then you’re probably considering a legitimate organization. At this point, you can move forward with peace of mind.

Your Questions

Are there any questions that you add to the list? Please leave them in a comment below so we all can benefit from your insight.

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Cory Kemp is the founder and chief editor of DentalPlanCards.com. He's committed to providing consumers with helpful tips for saving money at the dentist. Follow me on Google +