Dental Insurance Plans
Dental insurance plans will typically come with a wide range of coverage. This may include a specific plan to cover an individual, or even a whole family. Determining the right dental insurance plan for both you and your family is an extremely important step. You will generally find that whether you decide to choose an individual or family dental insurance plan, both will have their own advantages and disadvantages. In fact there is no one specific plan that will suit everyone and this is something that you should always keep in mind.
Individual (Indemnity) Dental Insurance Plans
This type of insurance plan will allow you to choose your own individual or even family dentist. The plan will then pay your chosen dental office on what is known as a fee-for-service basis. You, the client, will be required to pay a monthly premium to an insurance company, which in turn will reimburse your dental office for any services that they render.
In the vast majority of cases a dental insurance company will pay anywhere from 50% to 80% of your dental office fees. The remainder will always need to be paid for by you. This specific dental insurance plan will typically have a predetermined deductible amount, or excess. You will also find that this type of insurance plan will usually limit the number of services that are covered in any given year.
The basic features that are usually covered by this type of plan include - high deductibles, a probationary period for certain procedures that are known to last for a long period of time. There will generally be an annual dollar limit on any benefits, although you are able to choose your own individual family dentist. An individual dental insurance plan will typically cost you from $15 a month and upwards.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Dental Insurance Plans
This specific type of plan will allow a group of patients to receive dental care from a panel of individual dentists that has been predetermined. This type of coverage is most often used to provide dental gap insurance.
The dental office will usually agree to charge less than their normal fees to a specific patient base. This will, of course, provide numerous savings for anybody purchasing this type of plan. However, you still have the opportunity to visit a dentist who is not amongst the designated preferred providers, although you should be aware that you are likely to have to pay a greater share of the fee.
A preferred provider organization plan will generally mean that you will have a substantially discounted rate as long as you visit a dentist within a specific network. This type of dental insurance plan will have features such as monthly premiums, an annual dollar benefit limit, and that you must receive dental care within an approved network of dentists. A dental insurance plan of this nature will typically cost $20 a month and upwards.
Dental insurance plans are fairly similar to medical insurance plans, in that they will either provide a managed care plan or an indemnity plan. They are also known to be very much like an auto insurance plan, whereby they will provide you with compensation when required. You will also find that the different plans are likely to offer a different level of reimbursement for certain procedures. However, these types of plans are able to provide much-needed financial help in order to minimize the overall costs of any dental coverage that is required.
The vast majority of people who have an individual or family dental insurance plan will typically have them provided through an employer. However, there are also many health insurance plans that will offer dental insurance as a supplemental option. Regardless of the actual dental insurance plan you have, their main purpose is to ensure that you are able to adequately meet the costs involved with dental treatment. As you may well be aware dentist fees can be fairly substantial and therefore having a dental insurance plan in place is likely to save you a lot of money in the long run.
As mentioned, dental insurance plans are likely to differ from company to company, although there are certain benefits that all plans should include. This will range from preventative dental care which will include routine cleanings, regular checkups and any topical fluoride treatments. This will also cover basic dental care which may include simple extractions, fillings, x-rays and space maintainers. In most cases this will also cover a major dental care which will include crowns, bridges, oral surgery, sealants, surgical extractions, dentures, endodontics and periodontics.
The vast majority of dental insurance plans will have a set maximum annual benefit limit. You should, therefore, be aware that once your maximum annual benefit limit has been reached that you are fully responsible for any further dental treatments that you require. There are, of course, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) dental insurance plans that will typically not have a maximum annual benefit limit. This specific type of plan will involve any participating dentists receiving a monthly fee, whether or not you require their service during that month.