Understanding Dental Insurance Plans

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
February 9, 2015

Woman thinking near window

Do you find yourself questioning whether dental insurance is worth the dent to your wallet? You already have home insurance, health insurance, car insurance, but is there room in all of that for a new dental insurance plan?

That's a valid question and only can know the answer. However, many people can't answer that question because they don't know all of the facts. They don't know what plans are commonly available and affordable.

If you're one of those people, then you'll find the following information useful.


Traditional Dental Insurance.

Traditional dental insurance is a ìfee-for-serviceî dental plan. Today, traditional dental insurance is more commonly referred to as indemnity insurance. It is considered the direct counterpart of managed care plans like a dental HMO.

With a DHMO you select a single dentist to handle your required oral care. That is what's covered by the plan. With indemnity insurance you have the option to visit any dentist you choose. The caveat with indemnity insurance is that you'll pay more at the time of the visit.

Unlike HMO or PPO plans, an indemnity plan doesn't reimburse the policy carrier at the time of the visit or payment. The carrier also pays a coinsurance fee for each visit. The visit is paid for in full, but is later reimbursed by the insurance provider after a claim has been filed.

Insurance carriers are usually required to meet a specific deductible. There are also limitations on the amount of coverage available each year. The real advantage indemnity insurance has on these other plans is the range of dentists.

Whether or not this is the best plan for you really depends on your needs. Traditional indemnity plans do have benefits. The most obvious is the largest selection of dentists available with any dentist plan. Second, after you receive reimbursement, the insurance plan covers a large portion of the bill. You're only left paying a few small fees.

If you're worried about whether you might undergo a certain procedure only for the insurance provider to later deny the claim, don't fret because they have a solution for that. You have the option to file a pre-claim prior to any serious dental service. The pre-claim will let you know if and how much of the service will be covered by the insurance provider.

Preferred Provider Organization.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Network dental plans are extremely popular. Patients love PPO plans because they provide the perfect middle-ground between payments and possibility. You can have your choice of dentist, but they must be within the providers network.

Obviously, one of your concerns when choosing a plan like this is how good is the provider's network. That's something you should definitely find out before signing any contracts. If the network has reputable dentists, then it's usually a great choice.

PPO plans takes the least amount of money out of your pocket at the time of the visit. You pay a coinsurance payment like with the indemnity plans, but the rest is covered on-the-spot by the insurance provider.

Making The Right Choice.

Weigh your local options, do the research, and make the choice that best suits your needs or the needs of your family. You can always talk to your doctor and ask for a recommendation, but follow up with research online.

Search for Resources


Senior Dental Health
Eye Health
Children's Dental Health
Dental Health