Dental insurance, sometimes called a dental plan, is a form of health insurance designed to pay a portion of the costs associated with dental care. If you are looking for How to Choose a Dental Plan there are several different types of individual, family, or group dental insurance plans grouped into three primary categories: Indemnity, Preferred Provider Network, and Dental Health Managed Organizations.
Types of Dental Plans
Dental plans are similar in some ways to health insurance plans in some respects, but different in other ways. You’ll generally have the following options:
1: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): As with a health insurance PPO, these plans come with a list of dentists that accept the plan. You have the option of going out of network, but your out-of-pocket costs will be higher.
2: Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO): Like a health insurance HMO, these plans provide a network of dentists that accept the plan for a set co-pay, or no fee at all. However, you may not be able to see an out-of-network dentist.
3: Discount or referral dental plan: This is a plan in which you get a discount on dental services from a select group of dentists. Unlike health insurance, the discount or referral plan doesn’t pay anything for your care. Rather, the dentists who participate agree to give you a discount for the care you receive.
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What to Consider
If your employer offers dental coverage, that’s an easy choice. It tends to be cheaper than getting a policy on your own. If you’re shopping for your own plan and you already have a dentist, your dentist may be able to recommend a plan based on your dental history.
As you compare plans, try to find out the following things:
- Whether your dentist and any specialists you may need are in network
- Total costs for the plan each year, including premiums, co-pays, and deductibles
- Annual maximum
- Out-of-pocket limit, if any
- Limitations on pre-existing conditions
- Coverage for braces, if needed or anticipated
- Emergency treatment coverage, including treatment if you’re away from home
With the right research, you’ll be able to choose a plan that meets all your dental needs.
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How to Choose a Dental Plan
In the traditional insurance market, if you needed to buy insurance through a carrier your journey typically began by calling an agent. Now, you can purchase dental insurance online, allowing you to see the costs yourself directly from the available companies, saving you time. You also have more flexibility to choose different plans by seeing all that a company has to offer firsthand.
It’s possible that everyone in your family will need preventive care. But dental needs may differ from person to person. For example, children may require services such as fluoride treatments or sealants. Active kids may need help protecting their teeth from injury if they play sports. Adults may need services that help them prevent gum disease, or replace teeth that are lost due to aging or disease. Whatever dental coverage you choose, make sure it will accommodate as many of your family’s needs as possible.