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Dental discounts, pet insurance added to AUSA benefits

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I joined the Association of the United States Army as both a member and as the director of affinity programs on March 1. I love being part of AUSA.

My job is to improve and expand the member benefit programs for all AUSA members, and I want to hear from you so we can increase the value of your membership and grow our base to provide even better support for our soldiers and their families.

What products, services should we add?

Not only do you benefit from participating in our member benefit programs, but many of our business partners give back to AUSA in many ways that support our mission: Voice for the Army – Support for the Soldier.

Our programs recognize and reward you, as a member, for supporting our important mission.

I’m committed to finding programs and services that fit our members’ needs, so please submit your recommendations for new products and service to [email protected]. We are adding new benefits regularly and your input is important.

The latest benefit information is on our website at www.ausa.org/benefits.

I want to highlight a couple of recent additions to the member benefit plans, citing my personal experience and the reasons I hope you’ll find them beneficial.

Dental discount plans

AUSA recently partnered with DentalPlans.com to offer our members an exclusive benefit not available to the general public.

As a licensed insurance agent, I am frequently asked the difference between discount plans and insurance and which is better. The answer depends on your situation, but my recent experience may help clarify the difference.

I received the dreaded news that I needed a root canal and my dentist referred me to a highly regarded endodontist and I endured stage one of the root canal.

At checkout, I was handed a bill for a whopping $2,300.

I grumbled under my breath that I should have gone to dental school because that fee amounts to $1,150 an hour. As I grumbled, I remembered a dental discount card I had and handed it to the receptionist, figuring if I got lucky I might save a few dollars.

The receptionist looked up my plan details, and then told me that my balance was now $990. Just like that, I saved $1,310.

I received an equally impressive discount on the crown that was needed to complete my treatment, and I continued to save on regular checkups and cleanings with the plan.

I didn’t have dental insurance at the time, but the insurance I had previously would not have kicked in until I paid the $150 deductible. Then they would have paid 50 percent of their negotiated rate with a maximum annual benefit of $1,500.

So, in this particular case, I would have maxed out my annual benefit on just the root canal and crown and would have had no insurance coverage until the following year. And that was assuming I met the 6-month waiting period for major services.

Dental discount plans are not insurance – there are no deductibles, waiting periods, annual maximums, limitations on pre-existing conditions, or claim forms to fill out. Rather, you pay an annual fee – typically $7 to $20 dollars a month – and receive significantly reduced rates.

At DentalPlans.com, you can choose between individual and family plans, view which plans your current dentist accepts, search by procedure, view sample fees, compare plans, and begin using your discounts in about 24 to 72 hours.

You will easily make up the initial cost in your dental savings, getting the quality care you deserve.

Visit our page or call 1-(844)-398-2683 and use code "AUSA20" for your discount and the free extra month.

Pet Insurance

Meet Sera.

This big, beautiful, loveable ball of fur is my companion, protector and money vacuum.

Sera.jpg

Meet Sera! AUSA members can now receive discounts on pet insurance from Healthy Paws.

With stitches, infections, allergies and other health issues, each visit to my vet averages $250 to $300. When I took my children to the doctor, I paid a small co-payment with my insurance – now it is difficult to budget around the constant medical expenses.

As a “pet parent” I asked my vet if he recommended pet insurance to help with the cost, and he recommended Healthy Paws.

After contacting seven of the top pet insurance providers and thorough research, AUSA selected Healthy Paws as our pet insurance provider for members. And consumer reports agrees – Healthy Paws comes out Number 1.

As an AUSA member benefit, Healthy Paws is waiving the $25 enrollment fee and is providing premium discounts up to 10 percent.

They offer the best protection for our four-legged friends, covering injuries, illnesses, genetic conditions, and emergency care. And, unlike most pet insurance companies, Healthy Paws does not have limits on claims.

Everything is covered under one plan and you can choose the best deductible amount and coverage to fit your needs. After you submit your hospital or vet bill via their mobile app, Healthy Paws issues you a check for a flat percentage of the covered costs.

It is a personal decision and an emotional one we – your fellow pet parents – don’t take lightly.

Is it worth it?

If you’ve ever had a major medical bill for a pet, you know the answer: Absolutely yes. We want to give you, as an AUSA member, an option for an affordable solution.

Get a free quote today.