Dental plans for individuals can include many forms of insurance. The most common types of dental plans for individuals are PPO, HMO, indemnity, and discount dental plans. Choosing the one for you can depend on many factors that affect cost of the plans as well as availability. Some employers offer plans to employees and if this is your situation there may not be a choice in plans. Often times employers just set up one type of plan and employees either opt in or out of the plan. Comparing the different plans is essential in choosing the one that fits the needs of you and your family.
PPO means preferred provider organization. Among the dental plans for individuals this is the most common and is designed to offer quality care through a network of preferred providers at a reasonable cost. The plan will have deductibles, co-pays, and premiums just like any other plan but has incentives for using network providers. This is a good dental plan for individuals who like to have some flexibility in their dental care. While you get the best rates by using a preferred provider you are not required to do so.
HMO is a Health Maintenance Organization and is focused mainly on preventing the need for major restorative work. These dental plans for individuals are more restrictive since you are required to use network providers. You also have to have approved referrals to see specialists. The premiums for this plan are often less because of the added restrictions and generally lower coverage limits. This is a good choice for anyone who needs routine care at an affordable rate but rarely needs major restorative services.
Indemnity plans are thought of as traditional or conventional insurance. These are dental plans for individuals who want the most flexibility and are able to pay the higher premiums. This is a plan that is generally set up on a sliding scale for coverage. For example, routine and preventive services are usually covered at 100%, basic restorative is generally covered up to 80% and major procedures at 50%. Indemnity dental plans for individuals are best for those who want to choose any dentist and not have restrictions on specialists and types of treatments that are covered. Because this plan allows you to see any dentist and covers the widest range of treatments the premiums are among the highest in the industry.
Discount dental plans for individuals are different from insurance. These plans don’t cover expenses, they give you a discount on the services. By joining a discount plan you are able to see any provider who accepts the discount card. The providers agree to charge you a lower fee for services by being a member. The discounts vary but are commonly 25% to 35% off the standard fee for most procedures.
The information here is not all inclusive and is meant as a way to help everyone understand the differences in dental plans for individuals. Hopefully with this information you are able to find the right plan for your dental needs.
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