You may be asking yourself if you should get dental insurance. What kind of plan you should get. If it will cover your entire family. If you will be able to choose your own dentist.
Dental insurance can be complicated and confusing if you don't have a good understanding of the different types of coverage and dental plans that are available.
By learning more about dental insurance, you can make sure that you get the coverage you and your family need at a reasonable cost.
Overview of Dental Insurance
Before we get started on the nuances of the dental insurance game, it is a good idea to look at the bigger picture to make sure that you understand what you are looking at when it starts to get complicated.
Dental care coverage providers often use specialized terms to describe their benefits, programs, plans and coverage. You will need to read the fine print of any plan since coverage differs greatly from policy to policy.
In general, basic dental insurance will cover preventive and diagnostic dental care and basic dental procedures. This means that your provider will cover the majority of expenses associated with dental cleanings, regular dental visits and preventive dentistry procedures as well as restorative dentistry procedures such as a tooth filling, tooth extraction and chipped tooth repair.
Your provider may or may not fully cover root canal therapy and other more complicated procedures, so make sure that you get all the information about their specific policy. Most dental insurance providers will also partially cover major dental care such as dental surgery, orthodontics and dentures.
When you start to think about what sort of coverage is right for you, it is important for you to consider what level of care you want your provider to cover and try to balance this with the costs of the insurance.
PPO vs. HMO
If you are interested in full-coverage dental insurance, you may have to choose between a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). PPO and HMO plans are the most popular types of dental plans and are commonly available to employees through their company's benefit package, although they can be acquired by individuals.
A PPO plan provides coverage through a network insurance system. You pay a premium for coverage and PPO plans will usually pay for most of your dental expenses with a low deductible. A PPO dental plan also gives you the flexibility to visit dental care providers who are out-of-network, although you may save money if your dentist is in-network.
An HMO plan works much like a PPO plan. You pay a premium for coverage and then you can choose from a number of in-network dental care providers. The major difference between the two plans is that, with an HMO plan, you get no coverage if you visit an out-of-network dental care provider and will have to pay your entire dental bill yourself. For this reason, HMO plans are often less expensive than PPO plans.
As with any type of dental insurance it is important that you get all the facts before enrolling in a PPO or HMO plan so that you know exactly what is covered and what you will have to pay in premiums and deductibles.