When it comes to buying into a new dental insurance plan, you want to be sure that you’re getting the most for your money. Not only that, but you need to take into consideration things like the dentist you plan on seeing, past oral health problems, and restrictions on what’s covered in your new policy.
Check the Coverage
As you work with your carrier to select the best dental insurance plan for you and your family, get information on the following:
- Are there waiting periods on particular types of treatments, such as crowns or root canals?
- What is the annual maximum (the amount where your benefits run out each year)?
- Can you see your current dentist?
- What is the cost per month for your premiums?
- What is your deductible?
If you’ve had a history of “bad teeth” you may want to make sure you select a dental insurance plan with more coverage than others. Or, consider a dental discount plan – these plans have no annual coverage limitations.
Traditional Dental Indemnity Plans
With an indemnity insurance plan, you pay your dentist at the time of your appointment. Then you file a claim with your insurance carrier (you can do this yourself, or the dental practice may do it as a courtesy.) Once the carrier processes the claim, a check is sent to you directly as a full or partial reimbursement on eligible services. With some indemnity plans, you can also choose to have the reimbursement sent directly to your dentist. If you opt to have the reimbursement sent directly to you, you can typically visit any dentist – often indemnity plans do not have “in network providers” although a few of the newer plans do have preferred providers – check the plan for details.
If you want the reimbursement to go to your dentist, ask your dentist if he or she accepts indemnity plans, and how the practice typically processes claims on this type of insurance.
HMO or PPO: Which is Better?
With an HMO dental insurance policy, you’re restricted to seeing only dentists who are in network with your plan. HMO plans tend to be the most affordable type of dental insurance, and often do not impose waiting periods before you can get treatment for more expensive dental concerns. But HMOs do typically limit how often you can get certain types of care, what specialists you can see, and – depending on how many dentists participate in the HMO – you may need to wait longer than you like for an appointment.
If you have a PPO plan, you’re free to see the dentist of your choice, as long as he or she accepts PPO insurance. That said, you’ll get the best savings if you see an in-network dentist than if you go to one who is out-of-network. PPO plans typically have an annual maximum coverage amount ($1000-$1500) and waiting periods before you can get certain types of care like bridges, crowns or dentures.
Dental Savings Plans / Discount Options
Dental discount plans, also known as dental savings plans, are less restrictive than traditional dental insurance offerings. These plans have no annual limits – you can use them as often as you need to save at the dentist. There’s also no waiting period – as soon as your plan activates, you can start saving on dental care.
With a dental discount plan, you must see a dentist who accepts your plan to receive the discounted rate – typically from 10%-60% off the dentist’s normal fee. Thousands of dentists accept dental discount plans.
Dental discount plans often include membership in other savings programs, such as prescription, vision and hearing care, for free with a plan.
Choosing The Plan That Works For You
Do you want to continue seeing a particular dentist? Ask him or her which insurance or dental discount plans they accept – and which plans they recommend based on your dental health needs.
For more help finding a great dentist, or to learn more about affordable dental insurance and dental discount plans, contact the experts at Cignadentalplans.com today. We’ll discuss the types of plans and savings programs available so that you can select the best one for you and your family.