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Understanding the Different Types of Dental Insurance Plans

Those with a health insurance plan, either private or employer-sponsored, often report that their plan still does not provide for all of their healthcare needs. Indeed, health insurance policies are subject to restrictions on their coverage, and you should expect to self-pay for part or all of some services, medications, and so on. But the lack of dental coverage can sometimes result in large, unexpected bills… And an aching tooth is hard to ignore.

That’s why many people choose to add a dental insurance policy to their overall coverage. A dental policy can help you to manage expenses and reduce the amount you end up paying out-of-pocket.

But as with other types of health insurance, it’s important to understand the different types of dental insurance policies before selecting one.

A Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) offers prepaid dental care to members who subscribe to services. You pay a monthly fee, and then receive all of your dental care from the DHMO facility or from independent dentists contracted by the DHMO. However, no benefits are provided if you seek care outside of this network. In most cases, a DHMO tends to be the least expensive option.

A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) works similarly to an indemnity plan. You pay a premium and can then seek care from a list of preferred providers. These providers have agreed to group pricing and to follow certain rules and procedures set forth by the plan. If you stay within the network of providers, you can obtain services in exchange for lower fees. You can also seek care outside of the PPO network but will generally pay a higher co-pay when doing so.

Fee-For-Service dental care applies to those with dental insurance, and those without. If you go this route, you can seek dental care from any dentist, regardless of networks, assuming that they are accepting new patients. You are responsible for paying the fees for services rendered. But if you have dental insurance that covers fee-for-service dental care, you can submit your bill to your provider, and they will reimburse you according to the rules of your policy.

If you’re interested in adding a dental insurance policy to your main healthcare plan, call us to discuss your options. We can help you identify the type of policy that fits your family’s needs and helps you to maintain a manageable healthcare budget.

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