Some Advice on How to Pick a Dental Insurance Plan
As you may know, there are significant differences between PPO and HMO dental plans. In addition, just like medical health care plans, there are numerous types of dental plans. When choosing a plan one must take the following items into consideration:
Medical plan bonus: many medical insurance plans offer the option of including a dental plan as well. Even if your teeth are in perfect health and you don’t feel you need it, it is good idea to enroll in a dental plan. The premiums tend to be fairly low, and certain unexpected scenarios (i.e. falling down and breaking a tooth) can affect even the healthiest of teeth.
Quality of care: the different pay structure for dentists that belong to PPO and an HMO dental care plans may result in different quality of care, including quality of treatment and amount of waiting. This is an important consideration that must be weighed in before one chooses a plan.
Scheduling: some dentists (often those who work with HMO plans) offer a limited scheduling – both in days and times – for individuals covered under the plan. Make sure these can fit into your schedule.
Size of provider network: some dental insurance providers have a large network of dental providers, while others have a smaller network. This has to be taken into consideration, particularly when thinking of specialists (such as root canal specialists, gum specialists, and so on). Having a very small set of options might really limit the usefulness of the plan. Furthermore, if there is a specific dentist you want to be treated by, and he does not appear in the list, then it might be a good idea to look at a different offering – regardless whether the plan is PPO or HMO.
Coverage: depending on the dental insurance, the amount of coverage varies for different type of dental treatments. One should consider his dental health when picking a dental insurance plan: the cheapest may turn out not to the best. Most decent plans offer at least one free exam and related x-rays as well as two free teeth cleanings per year.
Cosmetic dentistry: often these are not covered by the plans, and one should keep this in mind. For example, if your child requires braces, which is an expensive treatment that takes years, or you wish to undergo teeth whitening, than perhaps it may be a good idea to go with a plan that covers these – at least partially.