Different Dental plans are designed for individuals, families and groups enabling them to save money on their dental care efforts. Insurance companies come up with customized dental plans for helping more people to get affordable dental care so that they maintain better dental health and prevent serious problems and heavy medical expenditure. With such a large variety of different dental plans available in the market, it is sometimes difficult to choose the right dental plan. The dental plan should cover the dental procedures that you and your family may need.  

Different dental plans offer benefits in terms of price, the range of services and the extent of such dental services.

Discounted Dental Plans

Discounted dental plans are affordable to most people and provide immediate coverage. They involve more out of pocket expenses on the dental treatments as the treatments are not totally covered and hence greater financial risk. This means for less expensive procedures you will have to pay a part of the cost and if you receive major treatment you will be burdened with a huge medical bill.  The plus point of discount dental plan is that it becomes effective immediately.  This plan has no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.


Indemnity Plans


The state insurance departments regulate the companies offering indemnity dental plans. Indemnity dental plan pays the dentist on a fee for service basis. It involves a monthly fee to be paid to the insurance provider either by the member or his employee. The insurance company reimburses the dentist for each service it provides and there is no restriction on your choice of dentist. The insurance company usually pays 50 to 80 percent of the cost of dental service and the individual has to pay the rest. They set deductible amount that varies with each plan. There is an annual dollar limit and probationary periods for certain procedures. The average monthly premiums range from 15 to 20 dollars.  


Dental HMO


The dental HMO provides a comprehensive dental care to the members of this plan through a designated dental service provider. Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) is also referred to as ‘capitation plans’ and are regulated by the state insurance department. This plan pays the dentist on a per person basis with a fixed monthly fee. The fee depends on the number of patients assigned to them. The patient has to make co-pay for each visit but can receive free preventive and routine care. There is an annual dollar cap and an enrollment fee. The average monthly cost will range from 5 to 15 dollars.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Regulated by the state insurance department, the preferred provider organization allows a group of patients to get dental care from its defined panel of dentists. The participating dentist charges a lower fee than his normal fees for this group of clients.  If you choose a dentist who is not a designated provider, you will have to pay a bigger share of the cost of the service. The dentists who are part of the PPO plan offer a deeply discounted rate provided you stay in the network for long.  You are allowed to go out of the dentist network to receive specific dental treatments and still enjoy the plan benefits unlike the restrictive DHMO plan.   The plan involves monthly premiums and annual dollar cap. The average monthly cost ranges between $20-25. 


Direct Reimbursement Plans

This is not insurance but a self funded benefit plan paid by the employer for dental services directly to the dental service provider. It does not involve payment of premiums to an insurance company or a third party administrator. There is no monthly premium to be paid by your or your employer.   You can choose any dentist of your choice for receiving dental care. The cost to the employer will depend on the number of employees enrolled and the benefit caps of the plan.  You can receive the dental treatment and pay the full amount of fee and then claim reimbursement from your employer showing the fee receipt. The employer will reimburse you the amount fully or a portion of it depending upon the specifics of your plan benefits. The benefits are capped at an average of $500 to $2000 per year.


You can choose a suitable dental from the different dental plans explained above to take care of your dental care needs without much cost.

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