When it comes to getting coverage for your dental health, there are a variety of dental insurance plans available. When you are shopping for dental insurance, keep these aspects in mind:
First, find out if there is a deductible and coinsurance on the plan. Then see if you are required to choose a primary care-specific primary care dentist. Finally, find out if you are required to see dentists within a network, or if you can choose a dentist out-of-network.
It is important to understand the differences between the different types of insurance so that you can choose the best dental insurance plan for you.
Different Types of Dental Insurance Plans
Each type of dental insurance plan will provide different coverage and have varying rules and requirements as a part of the policy. Here is a list of the most common types of dental plans that are provided by insurers:
- Dental Indemnity
- Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO)
- Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)
- Dental Exclusive Provider Organization (DEPO)
- Dental Point of Service DPOS)
It is important to familiarize yourself with the different types of dental plans you can choose from before you enroll in a policy. Some plans will offer a wider network of dentists to choose from at the cost of a higher monthly premium. Other plans may be more affordable but will require you to pay more out-of-pocket for your dental services.
There are many options for affordable health and dental insurance. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of dental plans for more help picking the best fit for you.
What is a Dental Indemnity plan?
A dental indemnity plan is a form of dental insurance that offers the most freedom and flexibility. This plan is also often referred to as a “traditional” dental plan or a “fee-for-service” plan. The main benefit of a dental indemnity plan is that you are not required to stay within a network when you are looking for dental care. This means that you can see any dentist you want, and you may not even need a referral to see a specialist.
Although these plans offer the most flexibility out of all the types of dental insurance, it is not an affordable option for everybody. You will be required to pay for most of your services out-of-pocket until you meet your plan’s deductible. After the deductible is reached, you and your plan will split the costs of your services.
What is a Dental PPO Plan?
Dental PPOs are some of the most common and popular choices for people looking for dental insurance. With this plan, you will be required to choose your dentist from an approved list of in-network providers. While you may choose to see a dentist outside of the network, you can expect higher costs if you do so. Additionally, you are not required to select a primary care dentist as a part of this plan.
Generally, you can expect to pay an annual deductible and coinsurance. With these types of plans, you will need to meet your deductible before the insurer begins to share costs as a part of the coinsurance up to the annual maximum. Some types of in-network preventive care that are fully covered under a Dental PPO plan include cleanings, routine exams, and routine x-rays.
You may need to pay a copay at the time of your dental visit, and you will have to share costs on any care that is more than preventative. A Dental PPO plan can help keep costs low for services if you see a dentist within the network.
What is a Dental HMO plan?
If you are looking for a cheap health and dental insurance plan, you may want to choose an HMO plan for the most affordable rates. These policies are affordable because there are typically no deductible costs for care, only a set fee for non-preventive dental services. A Dental HMO plan will fully cover the costs of most preventative dental care including cleanings, exams, and routine X-rays.
The cost of a Dental HMO plan is so affordable because you are required to select a primary care dentist from the insurer’s approved network. If you choose to see a dentist outside of the network, you will likely not be covered. Networks are typically small and local so you will need to search around for a dentist in your area that is a part of your insurance network.
Dental HMO plans are useful because there is typically no annual maximum amount on covered services, which means you will not run out of benefits like you would on other plans. However, you will need a referral from your primary care dentist to see a specialist within your network.
What is a Dental POS plan?
These plans work as a combination of certain features of DHMOs and DPPOs. For example, you are allowed to see dentists outside of your network, similarly to a DPPO, but you will get the best prices when you stay in-network. You will also be required to select a primary care dentist, like you would in a DHMO. This primary care dentist is required to refer you to specialists in or outside the network.
This plan offers expanded freedom of choice when it comes to your dental health, but you will face a higher deductible, monthly premium, and copays depending on the plan you choose. This plan is useful because you get a dental discount for sticking within your network.
What is a Dental EPO plan?
Dental EPO plans will give you the option to choose between receiving care from general dental practitioners and specialists. With a Dental EPO plan, you will not be required to select a primary care dentist, nor will you need a referral to see a specialist. However, you will be required to see dentists within your network to receive coverage.
Will I have to wait to sign up for dental insurance?
One of the benefits of dental insurance is no waiting period. Waiting periods are the time between when your plan is effective and the time where you can receive dental care. You can get dental insurance today if you complete the application process.
Note: There may be a waiting period for major restorative care like adding a crown or a bridge.